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Committee Passes Mineral Production and Indian Land Energy Bills
Bills streamline duplicative and unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles to onshore American energy and mineral production while encouraging job creation

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2012 - In the spirit of the House Republicans’ American Energy Initiative effort, the House Natural Resources Committee today passed the Natural Strategic and Critical Minerals Protection Act and the Native American Energy Act, with bipartisan support, to expand critical mineral production and empower Indian tribes to increase energy production on their tribal lands. The bills would reduce burdensome government hurdles and streamline duplicative and unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles to onshore American energy and mineral production while encouraging job creation and economic growth.

“By streamlining government bureaucracies, we can boost American production of critical minerals such as rare earths that China has nearly one hundred percent control over. These critical minerals are vital for manufacturing everything from cell phones to hybrid vehicles.” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “Indian lands are unfortunately home to some of America’s highest unemployment rates, yet they also contain the greatest job creation potential through energy development. Due to restrictive and cumbersome federal regulations, many tribes have been unable to harness their own energy resources. The Native American Energy Act allows tribes more control over their land by streamlining government barriers to energy production.”

“Every provision of this bill was requested by Indian tribes or Alaska Native Corporation leaders. The bill is a product of consultation with tribal leaders who are interested in increasing Native Americans’ control over the energy resources beneath and on their lands,” said Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Don Young (AK-At large). “A number of tribal leaders provided excellent testimony underlining the need to remove federal red-tape that stands between them and timely, efficient production of energy resources that creates jobs for tribal members and nearby communities, revenues for the tribal government, and energy security for all Americans.”

“Duplicative regulations, bureaucratic inefficiency, and lack of coordination between federal agencies are threatening the economic recovery of my home state and jeopardizing our national security. I’m thankful for the support of my colleagues in recognizing that the length of permitting process has a dramatic impact on mining and resources activity in Nevada,” said Rep. Amodei (NV-02). “I look forward to working for passage on the House floor and later working with my Senate colleagues to make this important piece of legislation law.”

"The necessary government authorization for a mine is taking far too long, handcuffing potential economic growth in Arizona and other western states. The National Strategic and Critical Mineral Production Act addresses these permitting delays, the core obstacle to a vibrant domestic mining industry, and allows private industry to do what it does best: create jobs,” said Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ). "For far too long, tribes like those throughout Arizona, have struggled with unnecessary and burdensome federal interference that is stifling their economic prosperity. The Native American Energy Act implements common sense reforms that will reduce undue Federal interference in tribal energy and resource development, strengthen tribal self determination, and spur job creation in Indian country.”

These two bills would remove government hurdles and regulations that block and delay development of our onshore renewable, oil, natural gas and mineral resources.

  • H.R. 4402, Natural Strategic and Critical Minerals Protection Act. This bill allows the U.S. to more efficiently develop our Nation's strategic and critical minerals, such as rare earth elements, that are vital to job creation, American economic competitiveness and national security. The bill streamlines the permitting process for mineral development by coordinating the actions of federal, state, local and Tribal agencies. (Passed 27-10)

  • H.R. 3973, Native American Energy Act. This bill streamlines burdensome and duplicative government regulations and increases the opportunity for Indian tribes to develop energy resources on their own land to create jobs and increase American energy production. The bill addresses specific concerns from various Indian County leaders about getting approval from the Secretary of the Interior for energy development, while promoting and encouraging increased energy production on tribal lands by reducing government barriers and streamlining burdensome procedures. (Passed by voice vote)

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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