WASHINGTON, D.C.—As voters consider national security issues around Veterans Day, there is broad support for policies that would encourage the use of domestic minerals and energy resources to reduce reliance on imports, enhance reliability, and strengthen national security, according to new polling conducted by Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA).
Sixty-three percent of voters and 75 percent of military families support streamlining the mine permitting process to improve timely access to domestic resources for the more than 750,000 tons of minerals the U.S. Department of Defense uses each year for military gear, weapon systems and other defense technologies. (17 percent of voters oppose and 20 percent of voters had no opinion).
Despite the need for these resources, the process to obtain a mining permit in the U.S. can currently take seven to 10 years, compared to two to three years in other countries, such as Canada and Australia. The U.S. remains entirely import-dependent for 19 key minerals resources and more than 50 percent import-dependent for an additional 24 minerals, subjecting our supply chains to geopolitical instability and supply disruption.
Seven in 10 voters (67 percent) support an all-of-the above energy policy that uses all domestic energy sources—including fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil, nuclear power, and renewables like wind and solar—to make the U.S. less reliant on energy imports from troubled regions of the world and less vulnerable to supply disruption. (14 percent oppose and 19 percent had no opinion). Among military families, the importance of utilizing all domestic energy resources was even higher at 72 percent.
“Voter sentiment is clearly at odds with current U.S. policies that hinder the use of the nation’s abundant mineral reserves and its world-leading coal reserves,” said Hal Quinn, president and CEO of NMA. “Americans who are most concerned about our national security are concerned with the bureaucratic redundancy and inefficiency that characterizes our mine permit approval process, and with attempts to limit the diverse energy mix available here in the U.S.”
The national poll of 1,603 registered voters was conducted November 5-6, 2016, and has a margin of error of +/- 2%.