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Cramer: House Passes Bill to Streamline Mineral Development

Sep 18, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the House of Representatives passed a bill he cosponsored to streamline the permitting process for mineral development. The National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act would put the United States on a path toward greater domestic production of rare earth minerals needed for the manufacturing of military aircraft, medical devices, computers, cell phones, and wind turbines among thousands of other products.

Due to onerous red tape and frivolous lawsuits, the United States currently relies almost entirely on foreign countries for rare earth elements and minerals critical to our manufacturing sector despite containing $6.2 trillion in untapped reserves. It can take more than a decade to receive government permits for a new rare earth mine. One report ranks the U.S. last along with Papua New Guinea for its excessive delays.

“This administration should spend less time trying to suppress our earth’s resources and more time trying to responsibly develop them. Seeing the massive bureaucratic delays for mineral mining at the executive branch, Congress has come up with a solution to help move them along. This legislation could open up new mining opportunities all across the country.”

The bill sets the total time for the permitting review process at 30 months, places reasonable limits on litigation timeframes, and enhancing coordination between agencies while upholding all existing environmental safeguards. It is supported by a cross-section of industry associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Telecommunications Industry Association, and the National Association of Home Builders.
Contact: Communications Director, Matt Becker, (202) 225-2611