Over the last several years the mining industry has been besieged by regulation and bureaucracy. It has cost the industry jobs.
Fortunately, many of these regulatory and administrative hurdles can be addressed with actions by the new administration and Congress.
The actions are backed by strong public support, to save current jobs that are at risk and create the potential for new jobs by clearing obstacles to future employment.
Ask the New Administration & Congress to:
1. Interior Department’s Stream Rule – Ask the new Congress and administration to pass and sign into effect a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval nullifying the Interior Department’s reckless stream rule.
The job killing rule provides no discernable environmental benefits while duplicating and interfering with extensive existing environmental protections at both the federal and state levels. A technical analysis of the impact of the proposed rule shows that at least a third of coal related jobs are now at risk owing to the massive volumes of coal that would be uneconomic to mine.
2. Financial Assurance Rule – Ask the administration to take a fresh look at this rule with an eye towards eliminating obvious duplication and minimizing excessive burdens on the industry.
In December 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rushed to introduce new, duplicative financial assurance requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) that disregard serious flaws identified by industry experts and financial institutions. Despite significant concerns voiced by states, Congress and industry, as well as repeated requests to thoughtfully consider the economic ramifications of the rule, the “Financial Responsibility Requirements under CERCLA Section 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry” rule puts much of the hardrock mining industry at risk by placing on an already comprehensively regulated industry an exorbitant and unnecessary financial burden that EPA estimates at $7.1 billion. This sum is in addition to billions of dollars of financial obligations already committed through existing state and federal programs.
3. Minerals Legislation – Encourage Congress and the new administration to pass the minerals legislation that was introduced last week in the House and Senate showing the new Congress’ commitment to job creation and economic growth.
The legislation addresses the current, painfully slow mine permitting process that can take seven to 10 years, putting into place a path for efficient, timely and thorough permit reviews and incorporating best practices for coordination between state and federal agencies. If adopted, this legislation will support our ability to fully utilize abundant domestic mineral resources that are essential for basic infrastructure needs, national defense systems and consumer products.
These are among the highest priority actions the new administration and new Congress can take to help address voters’ top concerns, saving and creating jobs, while supporting the U.S. economy.