Nolan: Strategic Minerals Act Would Speed Permitting for Billions in Jobs and Economic Development Across the Iron Range
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Citing the need to streamline a permitting process holding up a number of mining projects critical to jobs and economic development on Minnesota’s Iron Range, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (MN-08) voted with the majority today as the House passed H.R. 761, the ‘National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013,’ by a vote of 246 to 178.
Following the vote late this afternoon, Nolan issued the following statement:
“Even though this is not the bill I would have written, I voted YES on H.R. 761 because we need to streamline and standardize a broken mining permitting process that is delaying projects with the potential for thousands of good paying jobs, and billions of dollars in economic development, across Minnesota’s Iron Range.
“We are long past the time when we need to choose between good jobs and a healthy environment in our great nation. I will continue to do everything within my power to advance good paying mining jobs, and work for strong environmental protections in all the laws and policies that affect the mining industry.”
During Floor debate, Nolan supported, but the House defeated, four amendments to add environmental provisions to the bill.
— Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), clarifying the bill to only apply to minerals identified as strategic and critical by the National Research Council. Failed 187-241.
— Marc Veasey (D-Texas), requiring the Secretary of the Interior to publish a list of strategic and critical minerals 60 days after its enactment. Failed 189-237.
— Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), requiring mineral exploration and mining projects to be subjected to an environmental impact statement before its approval. Failed 186-240.
— Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), requiring insurance policies of mining companies to include possible cleanup costs. Failed 191-235.