Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski: “The U.S. Digs Itself Into a Hole on Vital Minerals”
August 05, 2015
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) emphasizes the deep need fo...
With only two days remaining in 2015, the Minerals Make Life team is reflecting on the strides the minerals mining sector made this year. But we’re also looking forward to 2016, a year we hope will continue the partnership among our mining member companies, communities, policymakers and regulators. Together, we must make it our goal to work together to modernize the mine permitting process.
Minerals are the foundation of an economic engine that benefits all Americans. However, according to a SNL Metals & Mining study, bureaucratic delays averaging seven to 10 years can reduce a mineral mine’s value by a third and discourage investments in further mineral development projects.
Fortunately, 2016 could be the year for true and meaningful reform. A set of bills sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have made steady progress through Congress and will help unlock the nation’s mineral resource supply.
Rep. Amodei’s “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015” was passed by the House this year for the fourth time. And in the Senate, Murkowski introduced the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015,” which contained key language on access to critical minerals. Both bills will improve the permitting process by removing inefficiencies and streamlining access to the nation’s $6.2 trillion worth of mineral resources.
Minerals play an essential role in the economy of the U.S and its infrastructure. Iron, for example, is a critical mineral that is essential to manufacturing everything from skyscrapers to automobiles and electronics. America is one of the top 10 iron ore producers in the world, and the iron mining industry supports more than 21,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Iron is just one of the many minerals the U.S. holds in vast reserve. That is why the Minerals Make Life team is making it our 2016 New Year’s resolution to raise awareness for permitting reform legislation. Join us by taking action here!