The National Mining Association (NMA) issued the following statement on the bipartisan passage of Rep. John Curtis’s (R-Utah) amendment to the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act. The amendment passage ensures that a review must be done of the valuable mineral resources contained in and impacted by proposed land withdrawals.
“Actions from the White House and Congress this week show strong bipartisan recognition of the need to secure our materials supply chains from the mine up. Coupled with this week’s executive order, the bipartisan passage of this amendment shows a growing understanding of the grave vulnerabilities that exist in critical U.S. supply chains,” said Rich Nolan, NMA president and CEO. “Where we can be sourcing our minerals needs here at home, in accordance with the strictest environmental standards, we should be doing so. That’s not only common-sense action from the supply chain and environmental perspectives, but it’s also action that will support our economic recovery as the U.S. looks to get more Americans back to work.
The public lands package has included a variety of proposals that would make already heavily protected public lands off-limits to mining. These land withdrawals would occur at the same time that mineral demands are set to soar to support advanced technologies, forcing the United States to turn to geopolitical rivals for minerals that could be sourced at home, under world-leading environmental standards.
The text of the Curtis amendment follows: “The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Commerce, shall conduct a study to determine whether the acreage to be withdrawn under this Act contains geothermal resources, or minerals needed for battery storage, renewable energy technology, and electric vehicles.”
The Curtis amendment shows a recognition that sweeping, overly broad land withdrawals are bad policy.