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Press Release

Westerman Responds to Problematic DOI Mining Report

  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, the Department of the Interior (DOI) published a report from the Interagency Working Group on Mining Reform (IWG). House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) released the following statement in response to this problematic report:

"The findings published in this report demonstrate yet another example of the Biden administration's attempt to have their cake and eat it too. We must explore and develop minerals domestically if we ever hope to see America find true independence from foreign suppliers and secure our mineral supply chains. We can't allow overreaching permitting regulations to hold back domestic production and we certainly can't allow detrimental regulation intended to upend our domestic mining industry to come into effect. It's time for this administration to turn to science and realize that without domestic mineral production, America is simply handing our adversaries the keys to the global market and our mineral security." 


In 2022, the Biden administration formed the IWG to inform future potential rulemaking efforts on mining. Many of the permitting provisions and laws that govern our domestic mineral production not only serve as a hindrance to increased production but are often detrimental to our nation's economy and security. Access to our domestic supply of critical minerals is crucial for America's continued economic and national security success.

However, this working group released a report today containing a variety of policy recommendations, some of which would be entirely detrimental to the domestic mining industry. Overregulation of this vital sector will only cause a further decrease in domestic mining investment, despite what the Biden administration may claim. 

For example, the report recommends conversion from the existing mining claims system to a leasing system, a royalty on production and placing some lands off-limits to mining entirely. On top of that, the report misses the opportunity to implement meaningful permitting reform measures that the United States will need to meet our mineral supply chain needs in the future.