Senate’s perspective on the critical minerals legislation

Posted on October 31, 2013 by Minerals Make Life

On Oct. 29, 2013, 16 senators from both sides of the aisle aligned to introduce “The Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013.” The bill would revitalize the United States’ critical minerals supply chain and help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign suppliers.  It also requires the Interior Secretary to maintain a list of 20 minerals and elements designated as critical to the nation.

If passed, this legislation would require that the director of the Bureau of Land Management and the Secretary of Agriculture set and adhere to “timelines and schedules for completion of reviews and for inspection and enforcement activities.”

MML has collected statements, press releases and other commentary from a number of the senators who are in support of the bill, which appear below.

Senators’ Perspectives:

Oct. 31, 2013 – Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) via Duluth News Tribune

“Many of the industries that drive our economy and keep us safe rely on these minerals,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “This bill will make much-needed policy updates to help ensure an abundant domestic mineral supply that will help Northeast Minnesota — and the country — remain on the cutting edge of innovation and stay competitive on the global stage.”

Oct. 29, 2013 – Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) via U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Sen. Murkowski: “Minerals affect our daily lives, our standard of living, and our ability to prosper, yet the United States lacks clear policies to ensure an affordable and abundant domestic supply. This is one of our greatest needs, and it’s going unmet. Our bipartisan bill will help solve that problem by providing clear direction to keep the United States competitive and begin the process of modernizing our federal mineral policies. While it took time to develop a bill we could all agree on, we have done just that – and the result will be more opportunities for domestic jobs, technological innovation, increased national security, and greater competitiveness.”

Sen. Wyden: “So many parts of our 21st Century economy depend on critical minerals that it just makes sense to bring federal policies up to date. This bill creates a more secure domestic supply chain for critical minerals, and makes sure that our country’s national defense, high-tech jobs, energy security and advanced medical care are not held hostage by foreign suppliers.”

Oct. 29, 2013 – Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) Statement

“Rare earth minerals support high-skill jobs across Colorado while making possible innovative technologies like high definition TVs, military aircraft and advanced wind turbines. Every gram of these rare elements, like lithium and cobalt, is essential to our nation’s ability to win the global economic race. This bill will help restore the United States as a global leader in critical mineral production, create jobs in Colorado and across the country, and strengthen our national security.”

Oct. 29, 2013 – Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) Statement

“In Nevada and across the country, we have an abundance of critical and strategic minerals that play a vital role in our daily lives, as well as our nation’s economic success. Unfortunately, the United States still relies almost entirely on foreign countries such as China for many of these materials. Congress can take steps now to reduce our reliance on other countries for the resources we need to power our economy by developing policies to address these critical components. I am proud to join this bipartisan group of senators and look forward to the Senate passing this legislation.”

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