Home > newsroom > Page
Natural Resources Committee Approves Three Bills to Help Develop Rare Earth and Critical Materials in the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15, 2013 - Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved three bills with bipartisan support that will create jobs, streamline government red-tape, and make America less dependent on foreign critical and strategic minerals.

Critical and strategic minerals are vital to our everyday lives and are essential components of renewable energy, national defense equipment, medical devices, electronics, and common household items. Unfortunately, the U.S. relies on foreign sources for a majority of our non-fuel mineral materials and is 100 percent dependent on foreign sources of rare earth minerals.  These three bills would remove government hurdles and regulations that delay and block development of our critical and strategic minerals.

H.R. 687, “Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act,” sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04), was approved by a bipartisan vote of 23-19.  This bipartisan bill authorizes a land exchange to open up the largest copper mine in North America and protect environmentally sensitive land. The legislation would create nearly 3,700 jobs, provide billions in tax revenue, generate over $60 billion in economic activity, and strengthen our national security by developing our own U.S. copper resources.  Click here to learn more.

“This land exchange and conservation bill is the direct result of years of negotiations, an open process and a common vision amongst its supporters to bring good paying jobs to Arizona,” said Rep. Paul Gosar. “I am very proud to have shepherded a final product that balances conservation and getting our economy growing again.”

H.R. 761, “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013,” sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei (NM-02), was approved by a bipartisan vote of 24-17.  This bipartisan bill allows the U.S.  to more efficiently develop our Nation's strategic and critical minerals. The bill streamlines the permitting process for mineral development by coordinating the actions of federal agencies and defines critical and strategic minerals.

"In the 2012 ranking of countries for mining investment, the United States ranked last in permitting delays," said Rep.  Mark Amodei. "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. Nevada, which is rich in strategic and critical minerals, also has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Decade-long permitting delays are standing in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local communities. This bill would streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation's vast mineral resources, while paying due respect to economic and environmental concerns."

H.R. 1063, “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013,” sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), passed by unanimous consent. This bill addresses the lack of a coherent national policy to assure domestic availability of minerals essential for national economic well-being, national security, and global economic competitiveness.

“Though at least 40 percent of the world’s rare earth reserves are located within the borders of the U.S. and its ally nations, our country now depends on imports from China for nearly 100 percent of its rare earth needs. We should not continue to ship American jobs overseas. This is unacceptable,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn. “H.R. 1063 is the first step in reversing the trend of import mineral dependence and will create American jobs, and energy independence.”


Printable PDF of this document

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Committee Advances Bipartisan “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act”

Today, the Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3036 (Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ), the “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act,” legislation designating the National September 11 Mem...... Read more

New York Times: How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9 Billion Hole in Puerto Rico

To understand how Puerto Rico’s power authority has piled up $9 billion in debt, one need only visit this bustling city on the northwest coast. Twenty years ago, it was just another town with dwindlin...... Read more

Panel Outlines Options for Responsible Path Forward on Puerto Rico

Today, the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs held an oversight hearing to further examine possible solutions to the Puerto Rican debt crisis and avenues for the Commonwealth to...... Read more

View All News


The Costly Impacts of Predation and Conflicting Federal Statutes on Native and Endangered Fish Species
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 87, H.R. 295, H.R. 1621 and H.R. 2817
Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
View All Events