House Passes Bill to Increase Access to Domestic Minerals
Lamborn Says Mineral Production Will Create Jobs
Today the House passed a bill to open up access to domestic minerals critical to our national defense, manufacturing, communications, and medical care needs. H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012, would help the United States reduce its dependency on foreign suppliers for these minerals and create American jobs.
Congressman Doug Lamborn on the House Floor speaking in support of bill to create American jobs
Text of Congressman Lamborn’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012 introduced by my colleague Representative Amodei, of which I am a cosponsor. It was heard in the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee.
While Americans hear a lot about our dependence on foreign oil, they may not know about our dependence on foreign countries for minerals critical to our manufacturing, national defense, communications, and medical care needs.
Over the years, we have allowed frivolous lawsuits and unnecessary regulations to stifle our domestic production of these vital minerals. Today, the United States is nearly 100 percent reliant on countries such as China for rare earth elements that are essential to our economy. They will boost the creation of many mining and high-tech jobs in the United States.
We should all be troubled by China’s recent policies restricting exports of these critical minerals. But we must do more than just complain to the World Trade Organization. The Obama Administration should also support our efforts to allow production of and access to our own vast domestic supplies.
This bill is a bipartisan plan that cuts red tape by streamlining the permitting process for mineral development to create jobs and help grow our economy.
Under current laws and regulations, it could take up to 10 years to get all the government permits in place to mine these minerals. This bill would shorten that time down to just over two years.
These minerals are essential components of technologies and everyday items ranging from cell phones, computers, medical equipment, renewable energy products, high-tech military equipment, and building materials. They are vital to our country’s manufacturing sector and our ability to create jobs.
Every job in metals mining creates an estimated 2.3 additional jobs.
It’s time for America to get serious about rare earth minerals. We can start by opening up our $6.2 trillion worth of untapped mineral resources. This bill will allow us to end the Chinese monopoly and help manufacturers create American jobs.