Home > newsroom > Page
Panel: Infrastructure Package Must Include Permitting Reforms to Access Raw Materials


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 -

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources discussed the importance of domestically sourced raw materials for the upcoming infrastructure package.  

Aggregates such as crushed stone, sand, and gravel are the literal foundation of many of our infrastructure projects,” Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said.Expedited permitting regimes for infrastructure projects will have little to no effect if the mines that supply materials to those projects do not share the same accelerated process.”

Nigel Steward, Managing Director of Copper and Diamond Operations at Rio Tinto, talked about the arduous permitting process in the U.S., which takes an average of 7 to 10 years.  

The U.S. has one of the longest permitting processes in the world for mining projects,” Steward stated.By comparison, permitting in Australia and Canada, which have similar environmental standards and practices as the U.S., takes between two and three years.”

More than the prolonged permitting timeline, Ward Nye Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Martin Marietta added that mining projects are subject to further delays from litigious-happy special interest groups.

Ultimately, not only does this excessive regulation cost time, money and jobs, but critically, it often puts the fate of vital infrastructure projects in the hands of special interest groups and their handpicked courts, instead of Congress and state governments,” Nye said.  

The economic benefits extend far beyond the aggregates themselves, mining supports countless other industries and small businesses. Not to mention, domestically sourced raw materials keep project costs down – a gift for American taxpayers’ wallets.

[T]o meet the demand that will result from a sustained and substantial infrastructure investment plan, a robust mining sector is necessary. One cannot happen without the other,Michael Brennan, Senior Vice President of the Associated Equipment Distributors, stated. “Everyone from construction equipment distributors to restaurant employees to auto mechanics suffer when there’s a significant downturn in an important industry.

Putting today’s regulatory regime in perspective, Mr. Nye posed a rhetorical question: “Could [the Hoover Dam] be built today?

It is critical for Congress to pair infrastructure investments with regulatory reforms, including targeting permitting inefficiencies and red tape holding back the foundation of infrastructure projects – aggregates.

Members were quick to note that reforming the permitting process does not unravel existing environmental safeguards at both the federal and state level.

Click here to view full witness testimony.  


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Panel: Legislation Needed to Address Seismic Research Permitting Failures, Prevent Future Political Abuse

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing to examine regulatory obstacles to seismic research in America’s outer continental shelf (OCS). Acoustic seismic surve...... Read more

Trump Administration Slashes Red-Tape Stifling American Energy Development

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing to examine Department of the Interior (DOI) actions to eliminate regulatory burdens for onshore oil and gas developmen...... Read more

Bishop Statement on Introduction of Senate Companion Onshore Energy Legislation

Today, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced the “Opportunities for the Nation and States to Harness Onshore Resources for Energy Act” or “ONSHORE Act.” The bill mirrors Title II of H.R. 4239, the “SEC...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4532
Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building
View All Events