Gosar Spearheads Legislation to Protect U.S. Mineral Supply Chains

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Washington, May 28, 2020 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) and U.S. Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06) introduced the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020. They were joined by House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (UT-01), House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology Ranking Republican Frank Lucas (OK-03), and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23).

"I am proud to sponsor the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020 with Representative Waltz. This dual-Committee effort will make significant strides toward securing our nation a domestic supply chain of critical minerals from the United States for the United States. Critical minerals are the building blocks of modern life, necessary for applications in defense systems, renewable technologies, healthcare and more. For years, our country has become increasingly dependent on China and other nations to fulfill our demand for minerals. The global pandemic has demonstrated the severe consequences of allowing this longstanding overreliance on China to go unchecked and this legislation will begin the complex process of unraveling our addiction and addressing this problem. This bill tackles impediments to domestic critical mineral development including inefficiencies in the Federal permitting process and shortsighted mineral withdrawals, and also promotes technological advancements such as minerals recycling. Our need for critical minerals will skyrocket in the coming decades, especially as demand for renewable energy and battery storage increases. That demand can only be met with new mining and new resources, the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act will help us meet this challenge head on," said Congressman Paul Gosar.

"From healthcare to electronics and our defense systems, critical minerals are integral to our way of life. Unfortunately, China currently has a stronghold on the supply of these natural resources. As coronavirus has unfortunately demonstrated, if China can threaten to cut off our pharmaceutical supply, they can do the same with their supply of rare earth minerals. We need to bring this supply chain back to America – and this bill will be an important step to do that," said Congressman Michael Waltz.

"Mining is vital to Arizona and economic development in the nation as well as providing clean energy solutions for a sustainable future. We must take the proper measures to protect, responsibly extract and utilize our resources so we are not reliant on foreign sources such as China and Russia. We are sincerely grateful to members of Congress who understand this," said Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Mining Association.

Background:

The text of the legislation can be viewed HERE

A section by section breakdown of the legislation can be viewed HERE

This legislation aims to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals by supporting responsible domestic mineral development. Minerals, with applications including healthcare, defense systems, and renewable energy technology, are essential to our modern way of life. China has dominated the critical minerals market for years, controlling the vast majority of the global supply. Currently, 14 of the 35 critical minerals identified by the U.S.G.S. are imported to the U.S. at a rate of 100%. Ensuring a stable supply of critical minerals for electric car batteries, smartphones, healthcare equipment, and a range of other technologies and products, begins with encouraging responsible critical minerals development, production, and innovation here at home.

Current sponsors and cosponsors of this legislation include (37): Reps. Waltz (FL-06), Gosar (AZ-04), Bishop (UT-01), Lucas (OK-03), McCarthy (CA-23), Young (AK-AL), Crawford (AR-01), Buck (CO-04), LaMalfa (CA-01), Olson (TX-22), Newhouse (WA-04), Curtis (UT-03), McClintock (CA-04), Hern (OK-01), Stauber (MN-08), Marshall (KS-01), Weber (TX-14), Gonzalez (OH-16), Posey (FL-08), Balderson (OH-12), Westerman (AR-04), Wittman (VA-01), Cheney (WY-AL), Lesko (AZ-08), Stewart (UT-02), Johnson (SD-AL), Cook (CA-08), Gohmert (TX-01), Hice (GA-10), Emmer (MN-06), Amodei (NV-02), Fulcher (ID-01), Lamborn (CO-05), Calvert (CA-42), Baird (IN-04), Babin (TX-36), Norman (SC-05), Duncan (SC-03). 

Endorsements for this legislation so far include: National Mining Association, American Exploration and Mining Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Uranium Producers of America, Arizona Mining Association, and Utah Mining Association.
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