Why the U.S. Needs Mine Permitting Reform
May 23, 2023
Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. attracted almost 20 percent of t...
Every December 6th, we celebrate National Miners Day. It’s a day that deserves more widespread recognition. America’s miners work hard to produce the resources that enable our transportation, support our defense and make the goods and technologies we use every day. In fact, our nation’s miners are responsible for generating nearly a fifth of the U.S. GDP by developing the mineral inputs that strengthen America’s manufacturing industry and creating the core components to alternative forms of energy.
That’s why our nation’s policy and industry leaders are collaborating to address a glaring issue that is hindering our mineral supply chain. The National Mining Association recently partnered with Real Clear Politics for an event titled, “Minerals: The Overlooked Foundation of Our Future.” During two panel discussions and a keynote address from U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), experts joined together to examine the synchronicity between minerals and our modern world. Further, they spoke to some of the potential policy changes that could help reverse our alarming minerals import trends.
“We didn’t get here overnight—this problem has been decades in the making. We have reached a tipping point where the risks to our economic and national security interests are becoming increasingly clear to almost everyone. And it is really now time for us to act.” – Steven Fortier, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor, Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy
We need to modernize our mine permitting process so that domestic mineral resources are accessible. The quality of life we enjoy as U.S. citizens is a byproduct of our mining industry. Many are simply unaware of how dependent we all are on minerals for our technology, transportation, national defense and communication applications used to power our world. As technological transformations unfold in real-time, know that it is because of our access to mineral resources.
Mineral resources serve as the lifeblood to our supply chains. Yet, despite our miners’ efforts, the U.S. remains 100 percent import dependent for 18 minerals and more than 50 percent import reliant for another 30—many of which can be found here at home. The American public should know just how important our country’s mining operations are to the people, not just businesses.
U.S. miners deserve better. It’s time we dispel the misinformation and take a stand against the policies that are holding us back and deterring investment in American mining projects. The mining industry provides for our energy needs, makes meaningful contributions to our national and local economies, enables technological advancements, builds our infrastructures and creates well-paying direct and indirect jobs that support our communities.
And that is why we celebrate National Miners Day.
Fortunately, some of our nation’s leaders like Sen. Murkowski are answering the call and are fighting for our miners—and for the American people. Watch this video to learn more about how miners are helping us build our modern world.