America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.

 

Blog Contributors

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President 

Dan Barrett
Research and Outreach Manager 

Melodie Bowler
Government Affairs Intern 

Demian Brady
Director of Research 

Christina DiSomma
Communications Intern 

Jihun Han
Communications Intern 

Timothy Howland
Creative Content Manager 

Samantha Jordan
Communications Intern 

Curtis Kalin
Communications Intern 

Ross Kaminsky
Blog Contributor 

David Keating
Blog Contributor 

Douglas Kellogg
Communications Manager 

Sharon Koss
Government Affairs Intern 

Michael Liguori
Government Affairs Intern 

Richard Lipman
Director of Development 

Joe Michalowski
Government Affairs Intern 

Diana Oprinescu
Communications Intern 

Austin Peters
Communications Intern 

Kristina Rasmussen
Blog Contributor 

On Mining Investment, the United States is Dead Last


Sharon Koss
July 15, 2013

While environmental protection is an important concern in the development of our nation’s natural resources, excessive regulations have suppressed expansion of our critical minerals industry and sent jobs overseas.  In a study of the 25 leading mining countries, the United States has tied with Papua New Guinea for last place in terms of delays involved in obtaining a mining permit:

Permitting delays are the most significant risk to mining projects in the United States. A few mining friendly states (Nevada, Utah, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona) are an exception to this rule but are negatively impacted by federal rules that they are bound to enforce resulting in a 7- to 10-year waiting period before mine development can begin. 

This red tape essentially offers energy business on a platter to other countries, namely China.  Many of these elements which America is forced to import could be provided through domestic mining if redundant regulations didn’t discourage development. The Natural Resources Committee in the house began looking into this issue in 2011 when it referred to a U.S. Geological Survey which reported that:

The U.S. is 100% dependent on foreign sources for rare earth elements (REE), 97% of which are provided by China... the USGS released a report revealing 13 million metric tons of REEs exist within known deposits in 14 U.S. states.

In February 2013, Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV), along with 57 cosponsors, proposed H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, in order to address this issue.

Although many of these minerals are necessary for the president’s green energy goals, Obama still refuses to allow efficient development of domestic minerals and asks legislators to strongly oppose H.R. 761 in the name of environmental protection.

A similar scenario is playing out on the Outer Continental Shelf and across many federal lands where onerous regulations and permitting processes keep our natural resources tied up in red tape. Whether those resources are essential minerals or equally essential energy, the solution is still the same, as NTU’s Executive Vice President Pete Sepp explained:

Instead of picking winners and losers in the industry, we believe officials should pursue a policy that applies low, simple taxes … avoids government subsidies, and eases regulations that stand in the way of developing new resources.

With employment numbers still stubbornly low, Washington should be easing the path for economic development and job growth, not throwing up roadblocks for job creators. Let’s hope the House moves H.R. 761 forward quickly to help get vital investments out of permitting purgatory.


 

Comment on this blog

Nickname
Comment
Enter this word:

User Comments

Submitted by Carl at: August 14, 2014
Interesting. I would agree that focusing on growth vs cost control during the early stages of a business is ideal, however, there will be a point when that shifts. does the venus factor work