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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and their Senate colleagues sent a letter to the executive director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) demanding the council rescind its proposal to limit the type of mining projects eligible for the improved permitting process established under Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41). The senators warn the proposed rule will hinder mining permitting predictability and efficiency; threaten America’s manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and national security needs; and further empower China’s near-monopoly on the global supply of critical minerals.

“Permitting delays have been, and continue to be, one of the most significant risks to meeting domestic mineral production goals - a fact clearly recognized by FPISC in 2021,” the senators wrote. “FPISC should be doing all it can to facilitate the addition of mining projects to the FPISC dashboard of covered projects, as significant investments are being made daily in such projects, regardless of the type of minerals being mined. Unfortunately, this misguided and shortsighted proposal disincentivizes such investment.”

“FPISC’s proposal sends the wrong message to investors, industry stakeholders, and our nation’s allies…[and] will hinder mining permitting predictability and efficiency while further empowering China with its near-monopoly on the global supply of critical minerals…We urge FPISC to abandon this proposal and use its existing authority to actively support all mining infrastructure projects to unleash America's national supply chains and processing capabilities.”

In addition to Risch, Crapo, and Sullivan, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).

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