Harry Moser: Washington Needs to Reform the U.S. Permitting Process

Posted on April 18, 2016 by Minerals Make Life

Editor’s note: The minerals mining legislation is moving forward in the U.S. Senate and a vote is planned on the larger “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015” bill this week. Check out this post we originally shared in November for more information on the importance of this legislation.

Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative, shared in a recent op-ed in Industry Week that “better corporate decision-making and the support of our lawmakers” is “essential to sustain continued growth” in manufacturing. Recent analysis from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Reshoring Initiative demonstrates that U.S. manufacturing employment growth is slowing. In the past decade, many U.S. manufacturers moved production overseas to countries that accommodate more timely access to necessary materials like minerals and metals. Although many of these manufacturing jobs have returned to the U.S., there is still much work to be done.

Right now our country is more than 50 percent dependent on imports for 43 key minerals and as mineral demand rises, it is understandable that more than 90 percent of U.S. manufacturing executives are concerned about access to minerals and supply chain disruptions. However, Moser’s op-ed emphasizes that our country’s concern is not about supply, but rather access to stable supply chains. We have $6.2 trillion worth of untapped domestic minerals here in the U.S., and yet it can take a decade to secure permits.

According to Moser, public policy leaders can help return jobs to the U.S by helping to provide a “level playing field,” and by reducing the “regulatory burdens that hamper America’s manufacturers.” He continues, and writes, “One immediate step Washington can take to support American manufacturers is to reform the permitting process for U.S. minerals and metals mines.”

Our leaders have taken a step forward in reforming the minerals mining permitting process. The House’s approval of Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) minerals bill and similar legislation from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) marks “an important step forward in reducing an inefficient process harmful to so many industries,” and Moser urges Congress to swiftly back the House’s efforts to support and restore “the industry that makes up the backbone of the U.S. economy.”

Read the full Industry Week op-ed here.

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