Majority of U.S. Voters Support Permitting Reform to Encourage Domestic Mining

WASHINGTON, D.C. As the U.S. supply chain becomes increasingly import-reliant for vital raw materials – minerals such as copper, silver, zinc and lithium – 57 percent of voters believe U.S. regulations and laws should be reformed to encourage more domestic mining, according to a poll conducted by Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA).

“Made in America should also be made from American resources,” said Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO. “At a time when the U.S. is looking to bolster our domestic manufacturing industry, leaving the stability of our supply chain subject to the whims of foreign sources is dangerously shortsighted. That’s why most Americans support regulatory and legal reform to encourage domestic mining.”

Many components of today’s advanced technologies such as smart phones and electric vehicles require minerals such as copper, silver, gold and zinc. Nearly every industry including energy, construction, transportation and equipment manufacturing requires steel—a material dependent on iron ore, nickel and molybdenum for its production. And copper’s flexibility, conformity, thermal and electric conductivity, and resistance to corrosion make it an ideal industrial metal.

Duplicative federal and state regulations and lack of coordination between agencies, however, discourages domestic mining. The result is a permitting process that can take from seven to 10 years, which increases our reliance on imported minerals that are vital to America’s supply chain. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. is now import-dependent for 50 key metals and minerals – 100 percent import dependent for 20 of those. Less than half of the minerals U.S. manufacturers need are sourced domestically, despite the nation’s abundant mineral endowment.

The poll found that 57 percent support regulatory and legal reform to support domestic mining, 26 percent did not know or had no opinion, and just 18 percent opposed reform. The poll was conducted from April 5-7, 2018, of 2,201 adults nationwide carrying a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.

 

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