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National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUFFY. I appreciate the gentleman for yielding.

We're here talking about H.R. 4402 that's going to minimize the permitting process and the delays and streamline bureaucracy around mining.

I want to be clear that there is no conversation in this House that is saying we should do away with the permitting process or we should do away with the bureaucracy. We're here to say, Let's streamline it. Let's make it easier. Let's make sure that we don't have the bureaucracy and the permitting process stand in the way of good projects and good paying jobs.

In my home district in the northwest corner of Wisconsin, we had a similar issue come up that we dealt with in our State.

We have a great vein of iron ore up in Iron County and Ashland County. It's a vein that, if mined, would create 600 to 700 new, good-paying jobs in the northern part of Wisconsin, jobs that pay anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 a year. Many of those jobs would be union jobs.

What we try to do in the State of Wisconsin is say let's streamline the permitting process so those who want to invest in that mine can get an answer in a reasonable amount of time. And if we go through a permitting process--any of us who live in northern Wisconsin who would have found information that would say that this mine would damage Lake Superior, which all of us love, we live up there because we love the outdoors, we love the lake--if it was going to damage the lake, we would all stand opposed to the mine.

If you can do it in a safe manner and if you can get a permit in a reasonable amount of time, why are we saying no to good-paying jobs? This is an area that has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent. They need good-paying jobs, and we have the permitting process standing in the way of these people going back to work.

We see more and more rules and regulations that stand in the way of job growth. That's wrong.

Let's stand together, let's streamline this process, make sure that we're environmentally safe and we're also creating jobs.


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