2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 124-4
Presentation Time: 2:25 PM-2:45 PM

LEGISLATION ON CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS IN THE 112th CONGRESS

BENEDETTO, Kathleen, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, 1333 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, kathy.benedetto@mail.house.gov

The industrialization of China and India is driving demand for non-fuel mineral commodities, sparking a period of resource nationalism. China’s reduction and stoppage of rare-earth element exports necessary for telecommunications, military technologies, medical devices and renewable energy technologies is a prime example.

China’s efforts to restrict exports of mineral commodities garnered the attention of Congress and highlighted the need for the United States to assess the state of the Nation’s mineral policies and examine opportunities to produce rare earths and other strategic and critical minerals domestically. Nine bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to address supply disruptions of rare earths and other important mineral commodities.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing May 23, 2011 on "Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy: Domestic Minerals Supplies and Demands in a Time of Foreign Supply Disruptions." Rep. Lamborn, chairman of the subcommittee, introduced H.R. 2011, the "National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011" on May 26, 2011 with 21 original cosponsors. Senator Murkowski introduced S. 1113, the "Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011," on the same day with 16 original cosponsors.

The Energy and Minerals Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on H.R. 2011 and H.R. 1314, the "Resources Assessment of Rare Earths Act of 2011" on June 3, 2011. H.R. 2011 was subsequently discharged from the subcommittee, amended by the National Resources Committee and passed out of committee by unanimous consent on July 20, 2011.

The legislation says: "It is the continuing policy of the United States to promote an adequate and stable supply of minerals to maintain our Nation's economic well-being, security, and manufacturing, industrial, energy, agricultural, and technological capabilities."

Because H.R. 2011 is a bipartisan bill that passed out of the full committee by unanimous consent the bill will most likely be brought up before the House of Representatives on the suspension calendar. Additional legislation on minerals policy may be introduced during this Congress. The challenge will be in bringing the House and Senate together to agree on minerals policy legislation that will be signed into law by the President.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 124
Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals for a Sustainable and Secure Future
Minneapolis Convention Center: Room 101A-C
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 317

© Copyright 2011 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.