September 05, 2014
This week, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported t...
Want to see more “Made in America” products? Then we’ll also need to see an increase in metals and minerals mining within the United States. Last week, President and CEO of the National Mining Association (NMA) Hal Quinn commented in Roll Call saying:
“As global demand for minerals increases — driven by rising population, urbanization and more modern-day gadgets and electronics — to be ‘Made in America’ will increasingly require more minerals be mined in America.”
U.S. manufacturers depend on a secure supply of minerals and metals to produce the cars, smartphones and laptops we use every day, as well as the armored vehicles and defense systems our troops need to defend the nation. But our inefficient and exhaustive mine permitting process has led manufacturers to look elsewhere for mineral commodities, which further increases our dependence on minerals imports, leaving manufactures at risk to supply disruptions. With a permitting process that takes seven to 10 years, the U.S. has one of the longest permitting processes in the world, and this increasingly threatens American manufacturing.
In the Roll Call piece, Quinn addressed that there have been many legislative policies and executive orders put in place to provide a better framework for the nation’s manufacturing, infrastructure and advanced energy sectors, yet they often ignore the mining sector, which supplies the resources necessary for those industries to succeed. Quinn stated:
“Take for instance President Barack Obama’s call for the U.S. to develop advanced energy technologies that will lead the world — from cutting-edge car batteries to wind turbines and solar panels. Those breakthroughs require breaking ground and mining the minerals needed to produce them.”
Thankfully, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) “America Mineral Security Act of 2015” aims to address the mine permitting issue. Her bill aims to reduce inefficiencies in the process of opening new mines in order to help secure the critical minerals needed to support American manufacturing and the economy. Mining and manufacturing experts testified on the merits of the bill last week to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and explained how the bill will allow the U.S. to tap into its full mineral potential and give access to the minerals American manufacturers greatly need.