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Media Contact:

Alan Septoff, 202.887.1872×105, aseptoff@earthworks.org , Aaron Mintzes, 919.302.6393, amintzes@earthworks.org

Today Earthworks’ Senior Policy Counsel is testifying before the full Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee as it examines the Department of the Interior’s Final List of Critical Minerals.

Interior published the list in response to President Trump’s December 20, 2017 executive order, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals”. Presidents Trump’s order followed multiple failed attempts by Congress, most recently introduced by Rep. Amodei (R-NV), to gut the mine permitting process for so-called ‘critical minerals’.

The Interior & Commerce Departments (and other agencies)  are now charged to provide policy strategies to the President, including “recommendations to streamline permitting and review processes related to developing leases; enhancing access to critical mineral resources; and increasing discovery, production, and domestic refining of critical minerals.”

Statement of Earthworks Senior Policy Counsel Aaron Mintzes
“Reforming so-called “critical” minerals policy is simply the mining lobby’s latest gambit in a decade-long attempt to eviscerate community and environmental oversight of their industry — the nation’s largest toxic polluter.

We need to strengthen our outdated mining laws, not weaken already flimsy community and taxpayer protections. Families across the country live with pollution from irresponsible mining, and taxpayers — not polluters — too often pay for a cleanup bill which has reached $50 billion.”