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National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Madam Chairman, this is a simple amendment. It addresses the roadless areas in national forests but, specifically, in Alaska. It does not overturn the roadless areas.

This is an attempt, as previously stated in this Congress, that highly mineralized areas would not be affected by the roadless area. It directly affects the Vulcan find of rare minerals, rare Earth.

And I have to address my colleagues for a sense. Now, right now China controls the rare Earths of this world. Yet, we have tremendous deposits in Alaskan lands and in other lands of this Nation. But rare Earth is the future of all this high technology that people do support, and the so-called things that we try to develop are from rare Earth.

It's wrong to have China control the price, control the quantity and availability for modern technology when we have our own. All we're asking in this is to make sure that an area that has high potential areas of rare Earth be accessible to the water.

And the rules of roadless area do not apply. They were exempted before. They should be exempted now. But a ruling in 2011 made this area unaccessible for the development of rare Earth for this Nation.

If you believe in the independence of this Nation, if you believe the importance of technology for the future, then you'll support this amendment. This is the right amendment for the right time to make sure we have this development.


Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the gentleman.

Again, this is specific for an area of rare Earth that's for the future of this Nation. This amendment should be adopted, and I urge a ``yes'' on my amendment.


Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I enjoy people from Massachusetts and New Jersey talking about my State. It really always excites me that they really know a lot. They know nothing.

This roadless area was open for mining development; and, actually, exemptions of certain rules couldn't allow it. Last year, they said, no, this couldn't be done, having access to this rare Earth for the Nation--for the Nation--this small area. All they want to do is get to the water. What good is rare Earth for this Nation if you can't get to it? We might as well stake a claim on the Moon. I mean, this is 17 million acres of land that have already been set aside, all but 1 million acres. All I'm asking for is access for the American people, access to this mineral deposit for the American people for the future, for the technology that is needed so as not to be dependent on China.

Now, he may be representing China instead of New Jersey, and I respect that; but I'm talking about respect for this Nation. This amendment should be adopted for the good of the people of this Nation if you're thinking about the future. Ironically, that side offered an amendment to narrow this bill to only rare Earths. That amendment was offered, and I can't understand that.

All I'm saying is, if you want access to rare Earth, then pass this amendment. Make it good for the Nation. Let's not be listening to somebody who, very frankly, doesn't understand the need--and this is a person who is a doctor, bless his heart, who understands the physical needs for the future, yet he says we're going to protect this little, narrow spot just to access water for the people of America. This is what this amendment does.

I'm trying to get something done for America. I'm not playing politics in this. It really doesn't affect Alaska to that extent other than the fact that it's in the State of Alaska. It does affect other States, but quite frankly, I want it for Alaska. It's my job. I'm not affecting New Jersey. I don't ever introduce an amendment or oppose anything for New Jersey. If he wants something in New Jersey, if he wants to drill in New Jersey, I'd support it. If he wouldn't want to drill in New Jersey, I wouldn't support it. If you follow what I'm saying, this is important for the people of America, and I urge the passage of this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. One last comment.

He says there is no restriction and that we can go ahead and mine this Earth. You can't develop it. It's that simple. All exploration had to be done by helicopter. There was no access by road. To develop it, we must have this road to water access. This is a good amendment. It provides this Nation with the right minerals that are necessary for future technology. We should adopt this overwhelmingly if you're thinking of the Nation instead of an interest group.

I yield back the balance of my time


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