Hal Quinn is president and CEO of the National Mining Association.
America is more vulnerable today than it should be thanks to U.S. dependence on foreign minerals. The good news is that without resorting to government interventions such as tariffs or subsidies, Congress can boost domestic production of the minerals and metals that are so essential to our national security.
Instead, Congress can make us safer by reducing the heavy hand of government, bringing commonsense reform to our mine permitting process and allowing our miners to get to work producing the minerals and metals our military needs.
Included in the House defense authorization bill is a key minerals permitting provision that would streamline our mine permitting process by reducing redundancy in environmental reviews and providing clear review timelines. It deserves strong bipartisan support.
How broken is our mine permitting process? It regularly takes 10 years, or more, to gain the necessary permits to open a new mine. This slothful system is chilling investment and eroding the competitiveness of U.S. operations. In Australia and Canada, nations with environmental safeguards comparable to our own, the permitting process takes just two to three years. We know we can do better, it’s time we do.
It’s not obvious to everyone that mine permitting and minerals import dependence are defense issues, but they are. The U.S. now relies entirely on imports for 21 critical minerals and is at least 50 percent dependent on another 29.
For the rest of this article: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/cut-mining-red-tape-to-secure-america