In Case You Missed It: House Passes Bill to Streamline Critical Minerals Mine Permitting

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Washington, DC, October 22, 2015 | comments
Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2015) – Today the U.S. House passed, with a bipartisan vote, H.R. 1937: the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015. This legislation addresses delays in the permitting of American mining projects, which can currently take seven to ten years or longer. This bill requires the lead permitting agency to identify a project lead to coordinate with all involved, set and adhere to deadlines, establish clear goals, and track progress. It also allows state reviews to count towards federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, and streamlines judicial review and litigation.
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For Immediate Release

Date: October 22, 2015

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

From the House Western Caucus:

Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2015) – Today the U.S. House passed, with a bipartisan vote, H.R. 1937: the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015. This legislation addresses delays in the permitting of American mining projects, which can currently take seven to ten years or longer. This bill requires the lead permitting agency to identify a project lead to coordinate with all involved, set and adhere to deadlines, establish clear goals, and track progress. It also allows state reviews to count towards federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, and streamlines judicial review and litigation.

In response, Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-at large), Vice Chairman Mark Amodei (NV-02), and Vice Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04) issued the following statements in response:

“Rare earths and other critical minerals have been the main economic driver and provider of jobs for countless communities throughout Arizona,” said Vice Chairman Gosar. “However, these vital jobs are unnecessarily threatened by the length, complexity and uncertainty of the permitting process which blocks development and discourages investors from committing to U.S. mining. Today’s legislation is a commonsense solution that will streamline the permitting process and allow for better coordination amongst the relevant state and federal agencies so that we can get American miners back to work.”

Click the picture above to view Congressman Gosar’s floor speech speaking in favor of the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act.

“Critical minerals and metals are vital to everything from farming to transportation, from technology to national security, and this makes permitting of American mining projects of the utmost importance,” said Chairman Lummis. “I thank Rep. Amodei for his work on this legislation that streamlines permitting to ensure a robust American production of these minerals. This bill will help secure America’s critical mineral supply, lessen our dependence on foreign countries, and create jobs here at home.”

“Our nation is rich in strategic and critical minerals. Permitting delays stand in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local, often rural, communities,” said Vice Chairman Amodei. “This legislation does nothing to circumvent environmental regulations or public input. It would simply streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation's vast mineral resources, while paying due respect to economic, national security and environmental concerns. This legislation has received bipartisan support in passing the House four times the past three Congresses. I look forward to the Senate joining the fray this Congress and helping the House solve this important issue for the country.”

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