US senator says Defense Production Act won’t move needle without fixing mining permitting

“Despite his climate pledges, President Biden has done nothing meaningful to boost American mineral production. In fact, the Biden administration has only made it more difficult to access minerals here at home in America,” Barrasso stressed.

Related: US to support new mines that avoid ‘historical injustices’, Biden says

In March of last year, the US Forest Service rescinded an environmental impact statement for a land swap “necessary for a major copper mine in Arizona.” Then in August, the Bureau of Land Management proposed withdrawing 10 million acres in Wyoming from mineral exploration.

“The list goes on,” said Barrasso, who went on to mention more cancelled projects.

In January of this year, Interior Secretary Haaland cancelled leases for a new nickel and copper mine in Minnesota. And last month, the Department of the Interior said it would withdraw a right-of-way for a road necessary for a new copper mine in Alaska.

“The Department also proposed designating critical habitat for a flower that complicates the permitting of a new lithium mine in Nevada,” he said.

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