House passes bill to streamline mine permits

The U.S. House passed the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015, H.R. 1937., in a bipartisan vote held Thursday to prevent delays with American mining projects. 

In response to the vote, U.S. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said, “Rare earths and other critical minerals have been the main economic driver and provider of jobs for countless communities throughout Arizona. However, these vital jobs are unnecessarily threatened by the length, complexity, and uncertainty of the permitting process which blocks development and discourages investors from committing to U.S. mining. Today’s legislation is a commonsense solution that will streamline the permitting process and allow for better coordination among the relevant state and federal agencies so that we can get American miners back to work.”

In support of the bill, U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) spoke to the significance of minerals and metals.

“Critical minerals and metals are vital to everything from farming to transportation, from technology to national security, and this makes permitting of American mining projects of the utmost importance," Lummis said. "I thank Rep. Amodei for his work on this legislation that streamlines permitting to ensure a robust American production of these minerals. This bill will help secure America’s critical mineral supply, lessen our dependence on foreign countries, and create jobs here at home.”

While U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) clarified the bill's impact on the mining industry and wider society at large.

“Our nation is rich in strategic and critical minerals. Permitting delays stand in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local, often rural, communities," Amodei said. "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 bipartisan support in 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.”

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