Skip to Content

Press Release

Committee Launches Probe Into DOI's Anti-Mining Actions, Disregard for Public Input

  • OI Subcommittee
This week, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) led a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning requesting information on recent decisions that will likely delay the permitting process for new mines and limit public input. In part, the members wrote:

"The House Committee on Natural Resources (Committee) is investigating the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s notice posted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website, “BLM seeks comment on mine permitting metrics” on February 12, 2024, soliciting public comments on draft performance metrics for efficient mine permitting on federal lands. The Committee remains concerned that, contrary to the explicit direction of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), this proposal will lengthen permitting timelines and blunt the effectiveness and expedience of essential domestic mineral production.

"The BLM’s request for comment on draft metrics through unofficial channels indicates a troubling pattern of the Biden Administration’s failure to adequately and transparently consider public input on proposed regulations in the mining sector, as illustrated by the IWG report. Federal agencies must engage in good faith with stakeholders and adhere to Congressional intent, meaningfully supporting new production of needed minerals in the U.S. and ensuring strong labor, environmental, and safety standards. Those impacted by agency actions deserve a chance to participate in the public comment process. Further, the lack of a public comment repository deprives stakeholders of valuable insight regarding how proposed rulemaking or agency guidance could affect various aspects of their value chain. BLM should not shortchange the opportunity to engage in the process through agency requests that fail to follow appropriate procedures."

Read the full letter here.