Amodei Strategic Mineral Bill Included as Part of Energy Package
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Logan Ramsey, 202-225-6155
May 25, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) released the following statement after the House passed S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, legislation which included his National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act(H.R. 1937):
“Duplicative regulations, bureaucratic inefficiency and lack of coordination between federal agencies unnecessarily threaten our economy and jeopardize our national security – especially when it comes to mining strategic and critical minerals in America. Critical and strategic minerals are essential to the technologies that make our daily lives and economy work. From military technology, such as aircraft and missiles used to defend our country, to the cars, smartphones and televisions we use every day, they all require critical and strategic minerals.
“Since the 1990’s, mineral exploration has stagnated or declined because of burdensome regulatory changes made to the permitting process. With the average permit approval process taking seven to ten years, permitting delays now pose the most significant risk to mining projects in the United States. In Nevada, permitting delays stand in the way of good-paying jobs and revenue for local, often rural, communities.
“My bill would streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation’s vast mineral resources, while paying respect to economic, national security and environmental concerns. By simply asking federal land managers to collaborate with all stakeholders in an effort to expedite the process in two-and-a-half years, as opposed to indefinite timelines, my legislation would not change any environmental regulations, protections or opportunity for public input. My legislation has already received nearly 800 bipartisan votes, passing the House the past two Congresses in addition to the 114th. I look forward to the Senate joining the House to solve this important issue by taking action on this energy package as soon as possible.”
S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 passed the Senate on April 20, 2016 with a recorded vote of 85 – 12. The House Amendment to S. 2012 combines the text of 37 House-passed Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources bills aimed at advancing energy infrastructure development, modernization, and protection, enhancing domestic energy, promoting enhanced land management practices, and promoting energy efficiency and government accountability.
Included as one of the 37 House-passed bills is Congressman Amodei’s National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015 (H.R. 1937) which passed the House on October 22, 2015. This legislation would facilitate the timely permitting process for mineral exploration and mine development projects by clearly defining the responsibilities of a lead agency. Although the United States is among the world’s leading producers of important metals and minerals, U.S. mineral exploration declined during most of the 1990s and 2000s because of burdensome regulatory and administrative changes to the permitting process. Oftentimes, permitting delays force states to wait between seven and ten years before mine development can even begin.
Congressman Amodei’s bill would limit the total review process for issuing permits to 30 months unless signatories to the permitting timeline agree to an extension. By streamlining the permit process, his bill ensures American mineral mining projects are not indefinitely delayed by frivolous lawsuits. Additionally, his bill sets a 90 day time limit to file a legal challenge to an energy project, requires the venue for actions challenging the mining project to be in the judicial district where the project is located, and limits any preliminary injunctions to halt mining projects to 60 days unless the court finds clear reason to extend the injunction.