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House Republicans Invest in America's Energy Future

Apr 16, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology Ranking Member Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) joined U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Ok.), Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy Ranking Member Randy Weber (R-Tex.), U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) and eight other members in introducing the American Critical Mineral Independence Act.

"The United States and its allies are dependent on the Chinese Communist Party for extraction and processing of critical minerals. Congress made enormous progress on developing a domestic supply chain last year by establishing an innovative research and development program for critical mineral technologies. Our proposal, the American Critical Mineral Independence Act, will build on those successes to develop technology throughout the supply chain to address America’s reliance on China for minerals that produce clean energy, supercomputers, and defense systems. Critical mineral independence is essential to national security." - House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology Ranking Member Mike Waltz (R-Fla.)

"I am proud to sponsor the American Critical Mineral Independence Act of 2021 with Representative Waltz. This dual-committee effort will make significant strides toward securing a domestic supply chain of critical minerals from the United States for the United States. Critical minerals are the building blocks of modern life, necessary for applications in defense systems, renewable technologies, healthcare and more. For years, our country has become increasingly dependent on China, Russia, and other nations to fulfill our demand for minerals. Our national security and our economic future depends on our ability of reversing the severe consequences of allowing this longstanding overreliance on China to go unchecked. This legislation will begin the complex process of unraveling our addiction and addressing this problem. This bill tackles impediments to domestic critical mineral development including inefficiencies in the Federal permitting process and shortsighted mineral withdrawals, and also promotes technological advancements such as minerals recycling. Our need for critical minerals will skyrocket in the coming decades, especially as demand for renewable energy and battery storage increases. That demand can only be met with new mining and new resources, the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act will help us meet this challenge head on." - U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

“America’s clean energy future, manufacturing capabilities, and technological development all require a reliable and stable supply of critical minerals. Unfortunately, the U.S. is almost entirely reliant on imports of critical minerals—particularly from China. The Chinese Communist Party has shown that they are not a reliable or trustworthy trade partner so our next steps are clear: we have to improve our domestic critical mineral resources. We made some progress on this front – last year many provisions from our American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act were signed into law. We’ve increased critical research and development into critical mineral supply and use, but more needs to be done. The American Critical Mineral Independence Act takes the next steps needed to better develop our domestic critical mineral resources. It supports research into improving the efficiency of mineral extraction and processing. And it will help advance technologies to recover minerals from legacy mining activities and waste products. I appreciate Rep. Waltz and Gosar for their foresight and leadership on America’s critical minerals supply issues, and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward.” - House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Ok.)

"China continues dominating and controlling our global critical minerals supply, which is an ever-growing security risk. We depend on these minerals for so many essential items, from mobile phones to dental fillings to solar panels. It's irresponsible for us to continue outsourcing our supplies when we can be mining and producing them right here at home. The fact is, we produce these minerals cleaner, cheaper and safer than anyone else in the world. This legislation will ensure we can tap into our rich supply of resources and decrease our dependence on foreign adversaries, allowing us to better invest in clean energy development." - House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

"It’s clear that this administration has put an emphasis on building out electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines. But at present, China holds 85% of the world’s capacity to process rare earth elements into material inputs required for manufacturing these products.  Here at home in the U.S., four-fifths of the rare-earth elements and processed chemicals we’re importing originate in China. I’m not willing to sit back, sacrifice our jobs, and stagger our economic growth when China inevitably decides to play by their own rules. That’s why I am proud to cosponsor the American Critical Mineral Independence Act of 2021. To break our dependence on China, we need to rebuild every aspect – from easing permitting to researching alternative materials – of the domestic critical mineral supply chain. This is exactly what this legislation does, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to put this on the President’s desk." - House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy Ranking Member Randy Weber (R-Tex.)

"We need critical minerals for energy technology, national security, and our overall way of life. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the American Critical Minerals Exploration and Innovation Act to ensure we have a safe, reliable supply for ourselves and our posterity. This legislation will put Americans to work instead of empowering activist litigators and relying on foreign countries with horrible labor standards like Russia, China, and the Congo. Northern Minnesota stands ready and able to use the resources we’re blessed with here at home and we can put our family, friends, and neighbors to work in high-quality jobs to access them." - U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.)

 

Background

The American Critical Mineral Independence Act works to reduce reliance on critical minerals sourced and processed overseas by supporting responsible domestic mineral development and innovation in the U.S. Many of these minerals are essential to our modern way of life, with applications in health care, defense systems, smartphones, laptops, battery storage and renewable energy technologies.

Key provisions include:

  • Streamlining the federal permitting process
  • Establishing a competitive grant program that would develop studies, research, and demonstration projects related to critical mineral production
  • Incentivizing new technology that would make mineral extraction cleaner, cheaper, and safer, even in mine waste sites
  • Directing agencies to consider the geopolitical implications of critical minerals decision
  • Prohibiting the Interior Department from imposing any kind of moratorium or ban on critical minerals mining without congressional approval

The bill's text can be found here.

117th Congress