The House Natural Resources Committee scheduled a markup for Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act (H.R. 761) for the morning of May 15, according to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association. Aimed at making America less dependent on foreign “critical and strategic” minerals, including aggregates, the bill is identical to the one passed by the House during the 112th Congress, and would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior to more effectively develop domestic resources of minerals of “strategic and critical importance.”
According to the text of the bill, this would include “minerals that are necessary … to support domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, telecommunications … and transportation infrastructure.”
Bill opponents contend that the legislation has nothing to do with developing these minerals, but is an attempt to gut environmental safeguards and negate proper review of large mining projects. They do not believe it should classify crushed stone, sand and gravel as strategic minerals.
Nevertheless, H.R.761 enjoys bipartisan support with 50 cosponsors, and the bill is likely to pass the committee. NSSGA has learned that H.R. 761 may come before the House floor later this summer as part of a package of bills, under the direction of the House GOP leadership, aimed at reducing government red tape and creating jobs. NSSGA supports this legislation and will continue to push for passage.