House Republicans introduce bill to speed mining projects for critical minerals – by Rebecca Beitsch (The Hill – May 28, 2020)

House Republicans have introduced a measure that would speed up permitting for mining projects in the U.S. in order to avoid importing critical minerals from countries like China.

The bill would require agencies to set strict timetables for reviewing permitting requests for new projects mining critical minerals used in products ranging from batteries to medical supplies to electronics.

“The status quo that we are dealing with is relying on really horrible environmental and labor standards in China and other places.

I think this is one of the things and has to be acknowledged by everybody,” said House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), one of the sponsors of the bill.

A number of countries mine cobalt, graphite, copper, uranium and other essential metals, including some U.S. allies. Republican lawmakers on Natural Resources as well as the House Science Committee hope the permitting changes would decrease the length of the process from seven to 10 years to two or three years.

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