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House passes Amodei's critical minerals bill for fourth time; Looks forward to ÔSenate helping solve this important issue'

October 22, 2015
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE                                                  Contact:        Brian Baluta, 202-225-6155

House passes Amodei’s critical minerals bill for fourth time; Looks forward to ‘Senate helping solve this important issue’

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-2), along with 48 cosponsors and a bipartisan group of 254 members, took steps to address the strategic and economic vulnerabilities presented by mineral production, including rare earth elements -- an industry dominated by China and other foreign nations. The House passed H.R. 1937, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015, by a vote of 254 to 177, which is intended to address American dependence on foreign minerals and to enable the United States to more efficiently develop its own mineral supplies.

"It’s not hyperbole to say our national defense and way of life depend on mineral production,” said Amodei. “From military technology, such as aircraft and missiles used by service men and women to defend our country; to the cars, smartphones and televisions we use every day; to medication and medical supplies; they all contain strategic and critical minerals such as rare earth elements, as well as gold and silver, to name a few.

“The 2014 Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment found that seven to 10-year permitting delays are the most significant risk to mining projects in the United States. Duplicative regulations, bureaucratic inefficiency and lack of coordination between federal agencies unnecessarily threaten our economy and jeopardize our national security.

“Nevada is rich in strategic and critical minerals. Permitting delays stand in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local, often rural, communities. This legislation does nothing to circumvent environmental regulations or public input. It would simply streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation's vast mineral resources, while paying due respect to economic, national security and environmental concerns. This legislation has received approximately 1,054 bipartisan votes, passing the House four times the past three Congresses. I look forward to the Senate joining the fray this Congress and helping the House solve this important issue for the country."

Specifically, The National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act:

Requires the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of strategic and critical minerals and mineral materials, including rare earth elements.

Defines strategic and critical minerals as those that are necessary:

(a) For national defense and national security requirements.

(b) For the Nation’s energy infrastructure including pipelines, refining capacity, electrical power generation and transmission, and renewable energy production.

(c)To support domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, telecommunications, healthcare and transportation infrastructure.

(d) For the Nation’s economic security and balance of trade.

Facilitates a timely permitting process for mineral exploration projects by clearly defining the responsibilities of a lead agency.

Sets the total review process for issuing permits to 30 months.

Ensures American mining projects are not indefinitely delayed by frivolous lawsuits by setting reasonable time limits for litigation.

Sets a 60 day time limit to file a legal challenge to a mining project, gives standing to project proponents, and limits injunctive relief to what is necessary to correct the violation of a legal requirement, and prohibits the payment of attorney’s fees, expenses  and other costs by the U.S. taxpayer.

Respects and upholds all environmental laws while setting timelines that ensure these laws do not become tools for lawsuits or bureaucrats to block or delay responsible projects.

48 cosponsors: Reps. Barr [R-KY-6], Benishek [R-MI-1], Chaffetz [R-UT-3], Cole [R-OK-4], Conaway [R-TX-11], Cook [R-CA-8], Cramer [R-ND], Culberson [R-TX-7], Diaz-Balart [R-FL-25], Duncan [R-SC-3], Fleischmann [R-TN-3], Flores [R-TX-17], Gohmert [R-TX-1], Gosar [R-AZ-4], Graves [R-MO-6], Graves [R-GA-14], Hardy [R-NV-4], Hartzler [R-MO-4], Heck [R-NV-3], Johnson [R-OH-6], Kelly [R-PA-3], Labrador [R-ID-1], LaMalfa [R-CA-1], Lamborn [R-CO-5], Latta [R-OH-5], Luetkemeyer [R-MO-3], Lummis [R-WY], Marchant [R-TX-24], McClintock [R-CA-4], McMorris Rodgers [R-WA-5], Mooney [R-WV-2], Newhouse [R-WA-4], Olson [R-TX-22], Renacci [R-OH-16], Rogers [R-KY-5], Rothfus [R-PA-12], Rouzer [R-NC-7], Salmon [R-AZ-5], Sensenbrenner [R-WI-5], Sessions [R-TX-32], Simpson [R-ID-2], Stewart [R-UT-2], Stivers [R-OH-15], Thompson [R-PA-5], Tipton [R-CO-3], Walden [R-OR-2], and Young [R-AK], Zinke [R-MT].

In Case You Missed It:

1) Congressman Amodei’s floor remarks in support of H.R. 1937

 

https://youtu.be/NgjTfwFcp0s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) 60 Minutes Investigates Rare Earth Elements

60 Minutes’ report on  March 22, 2015 made it clear the U.S. is too dependent on other countries for minerals essential for everything from smartphones to the new F-35 fighter jet.

Watch the full story here.

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