House Republicans attempt to override Biden administration's mining shutdown

 May 18, 2023

House Republicans are attempting to inflict a defeat on President Biden when it comes to America's mining industry. 

According to the Washington Examiner, the GOP-controlled House Natural Resources Committee put forward a pair of measures on Wednesday.

Congressman says White House is "abandoning the blue collar worker in America"

Both are the work of Minnesota Republican Rep. Pete Stauber and they regard mineral development in his state's Superior National Forest.

The measures are a response to a decision by the Interior Department to rescind two mineral leases for the Twin Metals Minnesota mining project as well as the withdrawal of approximately 225,504 acres in the Superior National Forest from mining access.

The Examiner noted that Stauber slammed the lease cancellation when it was announced in January and accused the president of "abandoning the blue collar worker in America."

One of Stauber's resolutions expresses disapproval of the lease rescission. Should the resolution be passed in the Senate then the Federal Land Policy and Management Act permits it to automatically override the Interior Department's decision.

California Democrat says area is "too pristine" for mining

The other resolution would make use of a different legislative provision to block the withdrawal of federal lands from development.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman voiced support for Stauber proposals, saying, "Producing minerals domestically is critical to meeting the administration's own renewable energy goals, yet the Biden administration has fought these safe American mining opportunities at every turn."

Not everyone is on board with the resolutions, however, with California Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman voicing concerns on conservation grounds.

"Some of us believe that there are places in our country that are simply too unique, too pristine, too special to be put at risk by extraction industry or other industrial uses that would threaten those values," the Examiner quoted him as saying.

Company says its work is "vital" to America's future

For its part, Twin Metals released a statement earlier this year in which the company lamented the Interior Department's ruling.

"Twin Metals Minnesota is deeply disappointed and stunned that the federal government has chosen to enact a 20-year moratorium on mining across a quarter million acres of land in northeast Minnesota," the statement read.

The company argued that its work is "vital in meeting our nation’s goals to transition to a clean energy future, to create American jobs, to strengthen our national security and to bolster domestic supply chains."

"We believe our project plays a critical role in addressing all of these priorities, and we remain committed to enforcing Twin Metals’ rights," it concluded.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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