Murkowski Welcomes Final List of Critical Minerals

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke published the Department’s final list of 35 critical minerals. Multiple federal agencies will now use this list to develop a strategy to reduce foreign dependence and strengthen U.S. mineral security.

“I thank Secretary Zinke for his efforts to develop this list of minerals, highlighting our most critical vulnerabilities,” Murkowski said. “These minerals are needed for energy, healthcare, manufacturing, defense, agriculture, and other technologies, and we must now take real steps to secure a reliable, long-term domestic supply.”

Secretary Zinke’s final list is the result of Executive Order 13817, signed by President Trump in December 2017, directing the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to identify minerals that are critical to national defense and the economy. According to USGS, the U.S. imported 100 percent of its supply of 21 different minerals in 2017, and imported at least 50 percent of its supply of 50 minerals. The list can be updated as U.S. foreign dependence levels change over time.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She is a strong proponent of reducing U.S. mineral dependence, having repeatedly introduced legislation to improve policies related to geological surveying, permitting, and recycling and efficiency.

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