Republican News

Republican News

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) voted to include mining as a sector covered by its authority.

“I welcome this announcement, which will ensure that mining projects benefit from the permitting transparency and accountability that many other major projects already receive,” Murkowski said. “Minerals are essential to infrastructure, yet our country is deeply dependent on foreign sources for everything from rare earths to cobalt. Reasonable steps like this one will help us change that and ultimately turn our mineral security from a weakness to a strength.”

Murkowski has long called for mining to be eligible for the permitting coordination and efficiency facilitated by the FPISC, which Congress created in 2015 through Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41). “Covered projects” already eligible for the improved federal permitting process include renewable and conventional energy, surface transportation, ports and waterways, and manufacturing—all of which depend on minerals.

In July 2019, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reported S. 1317, Murkowski’s American Mineral Security Act, with language to codify mining as a sector covered by FAST-41. This week’s administrative action reflects the FPISC’s ability to add vital sectors using its own discretionary authority.

Last year, the United States imported at least 50 percent of 48 minerals, including 100 percent of 18 of them. China and Russia control the supply chain for many of these minerals.

Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.