Murkowski: Legislation Needed to Address Critical Minerals Supply Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today underscored the importance of developing a domestic supply of critical minerals during a subcommittee hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“There is no question that a stable and affordable supply of minerals is critical to America’s future competitiveness,” Murkowski said. “Yet, our mineral-related capabilities have been slipping for decades, leaving the United States heavily dependent on foreign suppliers.”

The subcommittee hearing focused on three bills, including Murkowski’s Critical Minerals Policy Act (S. 1113), which was introduced last month with 17 cosponsors – eight Democrats and nine Republicans.

“The bill provides clear direction to keep the United States competitive and ensure that the federal government’s mineral policies are brought into the 21st century,” Murkowski said. “What sets this bill apart is not only a more comprehensive look at the various minerals we depend on, but also its attention to the broader supply chain, including permitting for domestic mineral production, where the United States is ranked last in the world.” 

Murkowski reiterated her support for the robust programs already in place to ensure environmental protection at mining operations, but explained that “delaying projects, stranding capital, and allowing bureaucratic intransigence is not a strategy for environmental protection. To the contrary, it is a disingenuous and dangerous thing to do as the United States struggles to create private-sector jobs and attract long-term investments.”

The other bills discussed during today’s subcommittee hearing were the Critical Minerals and Materials Promotion Act (S. 383) and Powering America's Lithium Production Act (S. 421).