Guest post: Minerals supply crucial to continued manufacturing reshoring
September 19, 2013
Although a sharp decline in U.S. manufacturing over the past se...
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder reported that President Obama’s administration is “unveiling a package of new initiatives aimed at speeding up the federal government’s reviews of infrastructure such as bridges and energy projects, a process that businesses often complain is protracted and redundant.” Just as a streamlined review process is important for major infrastructure projects, a modernized mine permitting process is needed to extract the minerals crucial to our infrastructure systems in a timely and responsible manner.
National Mining Association’s CEO and President Hal Quinn responded to a similar push by President Obama in May, asking, “What about mining?” Quinn wrote:
“Ironically, just as the President voices concern over long delays in the approvals process for major infrastructure projects, the permitting process for new mineral mines can span a decade, two-and-a-half times as long as it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge. These delays are due to redundancies and slow decision-making timeframes, which send mining investment overseas and leave the United States dangerously dependent on foreign sources for metals and minerals essential to our infrastructure.”
White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan says, “Our nation’s economy thrives when the foundation of America’s communities – from roads and bridges to ports and waterways – are built to meet the needs and requirements of the 21st century.” However, without an ample and stable supply of these key raw materials, the large-scale infrastructure projects that the White House encourages would not be possible. In fact, minerals like iron ore, nickel and copper are what make these projects a reality. Despite the importance of minerals to our economic well-being, global competitiveness and national security, the U.S. lacks a coherent minerals and metals mining policy. In order to support infrastructure projects and boost our economy, legislators must pass policies aimed at making the U.S. mine permitting process more efficient and reliable.
To learn more about the administration’s push for streamlined infrastructure review, click here.