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Public Statements

National Strategic And Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PEARCE. Madam Chair, I rise in support of H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act.

It's nice to hear on the floor who it is that's speaking for the trees in New Mexico. We've just burned down 300,000 acres of those trees in New Mexico because of the voices coming from Washington saying don't cut a single one of them. Let the fuels build up in those forests until they burn down.

All this bill is doing is saying, let's hold our government accountable to some standard of performance. We want our government servants to do the same work they would do in 10 years in maybe 30 months. That is not an unreasonable assumption for us in America, who are looking for the jobs.

New Mexico used to be the home to 11 rare Earth mineral mines. Those are the ones that create cell phone batteries, the minerals that create technological things. And we now have pushed those out of New Mexico and the rest of the West, and we've pushed them over to China so that they have the jobs and we no longer have them in this country.

We have people here who are willing to scream foul on every single thing when we ask the government to simply do its job in a little bit more efficient manner.

We actually did that in the 2005 Energy Policy Act. An amendment placed in the Resources Committee actually improved the permitting process. It had categorical exclusions. It created pilot offices.

I just had a chance to visit with the State director of BLM last week. He said that our processes are so much better today because of that bill. That's all we're trying to do in this bill here today.

H.R. 4402 simply listens to the President. We were talking about, from the other side of the aisle, we should rename it. Well, why don't we rename it, We're Listening to You, Mr. President? You asked on March 22 that our Federal permitting and review processes must provide a transparent, consistent, and predictable path. The President is asking for it, and this bill simply gives it.

The reason that we don't have jobs in this country is because we're sending them to other countries. Companies cannot wait for 10, 12, 15 years. They can't invest in that permitting process to get to the point of where their process is finished.

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Mr. PEARCE. They can't invest 10 to 12 years in a permitting process to be told at the end of it, we're sorry; we're not going to do it.

We could call this the Let's Reinvest in American Green Jobs. Green jobs require aluminum; 100 percent of that is imported. Green jobs require nickel; 100 percent of that is imported. Green jobs require platinum; 91 percent of that is imported.

Our friends on the other side of the aisle speak from both sides of their mouth. We want green jobs, but we don't want to have any of the productive assets here. We want to import them from other countries. Let's reinvest in America.

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