NMA’s Quinn Urges Congress to Pass H.R. 761

Bill Addresses Permitting Delays that Impede Economic Growth and Investment

Washington, D.C. – In testimony today before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn urged Congress to pass the bi-partisan “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013” (H.R. 761) introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) and currently enjoying 44 co-sponsors.

“H.R. 761 carefully addresses the deficiencies of our outdated and underperforming permitting system. Without changing environmental and other protections afforded by current laws and regulations, it provides for efficient, timely and thorough permit reviews and incorporates best practices for coordination between state and federal agencies,” Quinn told the committee.

“The United States has an immense and enviable mineral endowment waiting to be tapped,” Quinn said. “Yet, when viewed through the lens of resource potential, the U.S. is underperforming, which will have significant consequences for our nation as global demand for minerals increases.”

Citing studies from the United Nations Development Program and The Rand Corporation, Quinn emphasized that the demand for critical minerals will increase as growing global economies spur a rising middle class. But  U.S. permitting delays, which can last anywhere from seven to 10 years, impede our ability to meet this growing demand and pose a significant risk to our nation’s manufacturing base, job-creation potential and stable supply chains. The consequences of a long, complex and uncertain permitting process, as documented by leading U.S. authorities from the National Academy of Sciences to the Departments of Energy and Defense, can be dire for U.S. global competiveness and domestic mining investment. In 1993, Quinn said, the U.S. attracted 20 percent of worldwide exploration investment dollars, but today attracts just 8 percent despite sweeping global growth in mineral exploration activities.

“Using our country’s minerals responsibly and efficiently is a bi-partisan priority for strengthening our manufacturing base and the jobs it provides,” concluded Quinn. “NMA urges Congress to pass H.R. 761 to provide a more predictable regulatory environment to attract additional investments and allow the mining industry to build upon our positive contribution to the U.S. economy.”