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Rep. Simpson Expands Access to Critical Minerals

WASHINGTON— This week, the House Committee on Appropriations voted to advance the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson – Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee – authored language to expand access to critical minerals.  

“The United States’ reliance on our adversaries for the critical minerals we need to power modern technologies is a huge crisis waiting in the wings,” said Rep. Simpson. “We can - and should be - producing these critical resources domestically, but the current restrictions and lengthy delays in the permitting process make it nearly impossible. It is well past time to take control over something as fundamental to our economy and national security as critical mineral production.” 

Expands Access to Critical Minerals by: 

  • Prohibiting funds to enforce certain Bureau of Land Management withdrawals in Minnesota.  
  • Reinstating certain mineral leases in the Superior National Forest.  
  • Ensuring that ancillary mining activities, including exploration operations and construction of a mine access road, are permitted with or without the discovery of a valuable mineral deposit. 

Rep. Simpson has long advocated for the domestic production of critical minerals and has been original cosponsors of legislation that encourage domestic mining of critical minerals. Most recently, Rep. Simpson spoke with Interior Secretary Haaland about mining and securing a domestic supply of critical minerals. These provisions are a part of the Fiscal Year 2024 funding package for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Related Agencies.  

This funding package will advance to the full House of Representatives for consideration.