Why the U.S. Needs Mine Permitting Reform
May 23, 2023
Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. attracted almost 20 percent of t...
The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a bill introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., H.R. 4402—The National Strategic and Critical Mineral Production Act—which would help create a more efficient permitting process for our domestic minerals resources. This bill provides lawmakers with the opportunity to bring much-needed revitalization to the minerals mining permitting process, helping to keep the United States competitive in the global marketplace and ensure economic and national security.
NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn testified before members of the House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee in April in support of H.R. 4402, touching on the “steep competition from countries like China in the global race for minerals.” And, with the recent news of China stockpiling rare earth minerals, it’s becoming increasingly critical that we ensure that efficient processes encourage domestic mineral production.
H.R. 4402—if passed—will help reduce our reliance on foreign sources of minerals by reducing waiting periods for mining permits, capping the permit review period for mining projects at 30 months and by making any domestic mine containing “strategic and critical minerals” an infrastructure project. However, despite the critical need for a modernized permitting process, the White House announced this week that it strongly opposed the bill. The administration’s disapproval is a strong signal that it’s time for change.