Stauber Introduces Legislation to Bring Commonsense Reforms to Permitting Critical Mineral Projects

April 15, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) introduced the Accessing America’s Critical Minerals Act, legislation that brings commonsense reforms to the permitting process for critical mineral projects on federal lands in Minnesota’s Eighth District, and nationwide.

As the Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Stauber has made it a top priority to address the most burdensome regulations that have delayed good mining projects for years and kept the United States reliant on foreign minerals.

Of his legislation, Congressman Stauber stated, “For too long, activist groups have been able to hijack the permitting process, leaving our workers sidelined to wait for high quality jobs. Meanwhile, we ramp up dependency on foreign nations for minerals that we have in our own backyard.

Stauber followed, stating, “Northeast Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of critical minerals, giving our union members and skilled workers an exciting opportunity to help the United States break free of its dependence on hostile foreign nations for the resources that are integral to our modern way of life. We need these critical minerals now, and not in two decades. That’s why I am proud to introduce legislation that will create a more timely, transparent, and reasonable permitting process.”

House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member, Bruce Westerman stated, “As foreign aggressors like Russia and China try to dominate the global supply of critical minerals, America cannot sit back and watch. We have some of the richest mineral deposits in the world right here at home, and yet litigious environmental groups prevent us from accessing them at every turn. Mr. Stauber has been a champion on these issues, both in his district and around the country, and his legislation will ensure we can produce critical minerals without needing to depend on adversarial countries.”

Rich Nolan, President and CEO of the National Mining Association stated, “The National Mining Association applauds the introduction of the Accessing America’s Critical Minerals Act of 2021, which takes strong steps to prioritize our nation’s mineral supply chain for our economic and national security, and will be key to making the administration’s goals around supply chain security a reality. The permitting reforms contained within provide a path forward to supporting bipartisan initiatives related to domestic manufacturing, transportation and energy infrastructure, healthcare, and national defense, among others.”

Frank Ongaro, Executive Director of Mining Minnesota stated, “Mining Minnesota supports the efforts to assure a domestic critical mineral supply needed for a more sustainable future. The Accessing America’s Critical Minerals Act of 2021 proposes important steps toward timely science-based environmental review and permitting to assure environmentally responsible domestic mining for the metals necessary to support our growing energy, infrastructure, healthcare goals.”

Stauber’s legislation would create a more timely, transparent, and reasonable permitting process in the following ways:

  • Directs Agencies to complete permitting process within 30 months or 2.5 years
  • Directs Agencies to create and adhere to timely schedules established with stakeholders
  • Directs Agencies to develop performance metrics and publish an annual report on performance
  • Directs Small Business Administration to report to Congress on Federal agency performance in permitting
  • Disallows agencies from taking public comments outside of the public comment period
  • Removes duplication of federal agencies performing identical reviews of state agencies

For bill text, click HERE.