Nov 8 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C– Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently sent a letter to the executive director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) demanding the council rescind its proposal to limit the type of mining projects eligible for the improved permitting process established under Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41).

In their letter, the senators warned the proposed rule will hinder mining permitting predictability and efficiency, threaten America’s manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and national security needs, and further empower China’s near-monopoly on the global supply of critical minerals.

“We write to express our concerns regarding the proposed rule, ‘Revising Scope of the Mining Sector of Projects That Are Eligible for Coverage Under Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.’ The mining of all minerals is essential to the development of domestic infrastructure, and accordingly, it is imperative the FPISC ensure that all mining projects – for all minerals – are equally considered ‘covered projects’ for the purposes of FAST-41. Indeed, even the U.S. Department of the Interior’s own ‘Interagency Working Group on Mining Laws, Regulations, and Permitting’ did not suggest this change is needed in a report it recently released regarding recommendations to reform domestic mining policies,” the senators wrote

“The nation needs these investments to match the increasing mineral demand necessary to support budding technologies, bolster domestic supply chains, and strengthen our nation's national defense to reduce our reliance on minerals from our geopolitical adversaries. While the global demand for critical minerals ‘would require six times more mineral inputs in 2040 than today,’ it should not be lost on FPISC the amount of other mined materials, such as crushed stone and gravel that are needed for domestic infrastructure,” the senators continued 

“Thank you for your attention to this matter. We urge FPISC to abandon this proposal and use its existing authority to actively support all mining infrastructure projects to unleash America's national supply chains and processing capabilities. We look forward to a response from you no later than November 30,” the senators concluded 

Read the full letter HERE.