Hal Quinn: Two Houses, One Mineral Mission

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

In a recent interview with Mineweb, National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn calls on the new congressional leadership to make the federal permitting process more efficient. In doing so, Washington can help expand the domestic mining sector and support our growing manufacturing base with just one bill.

Widespread recognition in the House and Senate of the link between U.S. mining and manufacturing is vital to our economy’s success and one of Quinn’s primary goals over the next two years.

“When it all comes down to it, if the mining industry is not successful, then this country is not going to succeed. Whether we’re talking about energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, technology, national defense, that’s what we’re all about. We’re part of that. We’re the front end of the supply chain on all that.”

“I think what we’ve done over the last four, five years is drill down and show them that we have specific needs, too, and that it’s in their interest in helping us be successful in formulating the right policies to support us remaining competitive and moving forward so we can feed their sectors with the minerals, metals and materials they need so they can be competitive. Our Minerals Make Life campaign, that’s really what that’s all about is that, one, particularly with the policymakers and influencers, is drawing that connection between mining and key sectors of our economy tighter, showing them that connection. And also then reaching out to those sectors as third-party validators of what we’re advocating and what we’re saying, how critical we are to their success.”

As the existing process takes seven to 10 years—five times longer than Canadian and Australian processes—streamlining the permitting process to be more timely and efficient will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign nations and preserve U.S. competiveness, while preserving necessary environmental safeguards.

“We have a world-class resource base, but we’re being shackled by a worst-in-class permitting system,” Quinn declared. “There’s no reason for that, particularly as we see our peers continually improve their process. Our message is nobody should ever confuse the length of the process with the quality of the review or the thoroughness of the review.”

Quinn and NMA are encouraged by this month’s midterm elections, as new leadership, both in the House and Senate, recognize the critical need for permitting reform. We urge them to see it through.

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