WASHINGTON D.C. – On Thursday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020, aimed at bolstering domestic mining and processing of minerals used in high-tech equipment. The bill requires federal agencies to streamline the mining permit review process.
Representative Paul Gosar, a co-sponsor of the bill and a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Committee said the bill could facilitate “significant strides toward securing our nation a domestic supply chain of critical minerals from the United States for the United States.”
Gosar said he was “proud” to sponsor the bill which he believes will curb the “increasing dependence on China and other nations to fulfill” U.S. demand for minerals.
“The global pandemic has demonstrated the severe consequences of allowing this longstanding overreliance on China to go unchecked and this legislation will begin the complex process of unraveling our addiction and addressing this problem,” said Gosar. “This bill tackles impediments to domestic critical mineral development including inefficiencies in the Federal permitting process and shortsighted mineral withdrawals, and also promotes technological advancements such as minerals recycling. Our need for critical minerals will skyrocket in the coming decades, especially as demand for renewable energy and battery storage increases. That demand can only be met with new mining and new resources, the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act will help us meet this challenge head on.”
According to Gosar, China has dominated the critical minerals market for years, controlling the vast majority of the global supply. Currently, 14 of the 35 critical minerals identified by the U.S.G.S. are imported to the U.S. at a rate of 100%.
“Mining is vital to Arizona and economic development in the nation as well as providing clean energy solutions for a sustainable future. We must take the proper measures to protect, responsibly extract and utilize our resources so we are not reliant on foreign sources such as China and Russia. We are sincerely grateful to members of Congress who understand this,” said Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Mining Association.