Earthworks statement re President Trump’s Critical Minerals Executive Order

December 21, 2017

Statement of Earthworks' Senior Policy Counsel Aaron Mintzes:

President Trump’s misguided executive order to speed up permitting of ‘critical minerals’ threatens communities and the environment. The Government Accountability Office reports the government takes about two years to permit a hardrock mine, competitive with other modern democracies with robust mining industries.

On the whole, global mining industry executives report U.S. mining policies are a competitive advantage. That’s no surprise. The 1872 Mining Law declares mining the highest and best use of public lands, above everything else including hunting, fishing, sacred sites or watershed protection. And it gives away hundreds of billions worth of public minerals without payment to the taxpayer.

The President is correct that we need to fix mining oversight, but we need to strengthen it to better protect taxpayers, communities and the environment."

Tagged with: strategic and critical minerals, permitting

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