The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-02), by a bipartisan vote of 256-160. The bill would streamline government red tape to allow the U.S. to more efficiently develop our Nation's strategic and critical minerals, such as rare earth elements, that are vital to job creation, American economic competitiveness and national security.
"President Obama has been giving a lot of speeches claiming support for "insourcing jobs' to the United States from foreign nations. Currently, our nation is dependent on foreign nations, such as China and India, for critical minerals that American manufacturers and our economy depend on. This bill will help reverse this dependency and insource these good-paying mining jobs to here in the United States. And yet, the official position of the Obama Administration is that they "strongly oppose" this jobs bill," said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). "Not only will this bill help create mining jobs in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and many other states. It will also help produce the critical minerals that American manufacturers need and that millions of jobs depend on in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. President Obama can give speech after speech claiming support for insourcing jobs, but when he could take action to make that happen, the Obama Administration instead sides with protecting government bureaucracy and red-tape over job creation."
"In the 2012 ranking of countries for mining investment, the United States ranked last in permitting delays. Duplicative regulations, bureaucratic inefficiency, and lack of coordination between federal agencies are threatening the economic recovery of my home state and jeopardizing our national security. Nevada, which is rich in strategic and critical minerals, also has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Decade-long permitting delays are standing in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local communities," said Rep. Amodei. "This bill would simply bring some predictability and transparency to the permitting process to leverage our nation's vast mineral resources, while paying due respect to economic and environmental concerns. The 11-page bill would not change any environmental regulations, protections, or opportunity for public input. It would merely ask federal land managers to collaborate with all stakeholders in an effort to move the process along in two and a half years as opposed to more than 10."
The United States' reliance on foreign minerals has significantly increased over the last 25 years and today we are 100 percent reliant on foreign sources for rare earth minerals. This dependence is sending American jobs overseas, harming our economy and jeopardizing our national security. Without critical mineral ingredients, entire sectors of our economy--from manufacturing to high-tech to national defense to medical care--are put at risk.
The National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act will allow timely and environmentally responsible development of our Nation's vast supplies of strategic and critical minerals to create good-paying mining jobs, boost local economies, and provide security to America's economy.