Mining Can Help the President Help America

Keep Coal as a Pillar of Electricity Generation and Improve Mineral Access

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. mining industry today said the administration can unilaterally improve economic prosperity with policies that keep energy supply reliable and affordable. The administration also has the authority to improve access to minerals and metals that are critical for manufacturing and for modernizing the nation’s infrastructure and transportation grids.

“One of the surest ways of helping Americans weather a tough economy is to keep their utility bills affordable,” said National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn. “An assured supply of low-cost electric power also helps American industry stay competitive in global markets.” The unusually cold weather is a cautionary tale of what could be in store for millions of Americans if the availability of affordable and reliable electricity from coal is sharply reduced. “Clearly higher electricity prices and more volatility are on the way if greenhouse gas regulations effectively eliminate coal, the source of 40 percent of our electric power,” he said.

Quinn said the administration can also build the basis for economic growth and job creation by streamlining a mining permit policy that ranks among the least efficient in the world’s mining regions. “These metals constitute the front end of the construction and manufacturing supply chain, but today it can take up to 10 years for federal agencies to approve a mining operation,” Quinn said. “A more efficient process to access these abundant resources is the first step to rebuilding our infrastructure, sustaining a manufacturing revival and creating the good jobs that are essential to a strong economy and prosperous middle class.”

Speaking in advance of the president’s State of the Union address, Quinn emphasized that these actions are well within the administration’s authority and can be accomplished this year. “With policies that fully embrace all of our energy resources and encourage timely use of our mineral wealth, our industry can help make 2014 a year of action,” Quinn said.