Resource Type: Policy
Mesquite Local News, a Nevada-based publication, praised Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) recent legislation as a boon not only for the state of Nevada, but also for the United States. Rep. Amodei’s bill, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015,” aims to modernize the current U.S. mining permitting process and allow access to the trillions of dollars worth of resources right here at home. The legislation would provide a more secure mineral supply chain within the United States and lessen our dependence on mineral imports, many of which are vital to the United States’ manufacturing sector and the military. Rep. Amodei explains:
“It’s not hyperbole to say our national defense and way of life depend on mineral production. From military technology, such as aircraft and missiles used by service men and women to defend our country, to the cars, smartphones and televisions we use every day, they all contain strategic and critical minerals such as rare earth elements, gold and silver, to name a few.”
What’s to blame? Currently, the U.S. mine permitting process takes up to seven to 10 years, which is burdensome, especially when compared to other countries like Canada and Australia. Their permitting processes only take about two to three years and have similarly stringent environmental standards. This makes the U.S. globally less competitive in the development of new mining projects, and it also hinders the country’s economic growth and national security. Rep. Amodei states:
“Permitting delays stand in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local, often rural, communities. 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.”
Mining is one of a handful of sectors that creates jobs at a fairly consistent rate, adding between 11,000 and 13,000 jobs per year with salaries averaging at around $90,000 per year. The mining industry also pays more than $400 million in state and local taxes, and last year alone, industries nationwide utilized minerals to add more than $2.5 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product.
In order to better provide the U.S. manufacturing sector and the nation’s defense with the metals and minerals it needs and bring a boost to our domestic economy, Congress must enact policies that make the U.S. mine permitting process more efficient.
Read more from Rep. Amodei here.