The following statement was released today by National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn in response to legislation, the “Public Lands Job Creation Act,” introduced by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.):
“Good mining jobs are created by investment in mining projects, but the United States continues to attract a diminishing share of worldwide investment in metals mining because of the length, complexity and uncertainty of our permitting process. The legislation introduced by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) puts a time limit of 45 days on one, primarily administrative, choke-point in that process—the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) policy for processing certain administrative notices for mining operations and other commercial enterprises on public lands.
“The current ‘clearance process’ for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Federal Register notices sent from Bureau of Land Management state offices requires 14 levels of review at the Department of the Interior’s Washington, D.C., office. This policy adds approximately one year to the already lengthy permitting process and has never, in our experience, resulted in a final environmental impact statement that differed substantively from the product submitted by the state.
“Sen. Heller has put his finger on one needless bureaucratic impediment to job creation—an impediment that further exacerbates our growing dependence on outside sources to meet the nation’s mineral needs. His proposal deserves the full support of the Congress and the administration.”