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House bill introduced to save mining operations, jobs

By |  January 26, 2021
Rep. Pete Stauber

Stauber

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota) introduced the Saving America’s Mines (SAM) Act on Monday, legislation that will prohibit any administration from unilaterally halting the mining of critical minerals on federal lands where mining is currently permissible.

According to Stauber, he introduced the legislation with President Joe Biden and his administration in mind, as he says a politically motivated mineral withdrawal in the Superior National Forest occurred in the final days of Biden’s vice presidency.

Every Republican member of the Minnesota delegation signed on as a cosponsor of Stauber’s legislation.

“In the final hours of his administration, former President Obama, along with then-Vice President Joe Biden, enacted a politically motivated mineral withdrawal that blocked the responsible development of critical minerals in northeast Minnesota,” Stauber says. “Fortunately, the Trump administration’s reversal of this harmful withdrawal moved Minnesota’s miners one step closer to working high-wage jobs, unleashing economic prosperity in the region and reducing dependence on unreliable nations with horrific labor standards.

NSSGA responds

Michele Stanley

Stanley

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) reacted with praise for Stauber’s legislative measure.

“On behalf of the 400 members of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, I applaud Rep. Pete Stauber for introducing the Saving America’s Mines Act,” says Michele Stanley, vice president of government affairs at NSSGA. “This legislation provides needed certainty for aggregates operators who supply communities on and near federal lands with essential construction materials.”

NSSGA is now urging its members to support the Saving America’s Mines Act.

“Stone, sand and gravel are critical to the livelihoods of every American, as they are the bedrock in the creation of buildings, roads, airports and bridges and are mined in 11,000 facilities across the United States,” Stanley says. “They are also indispensable in developing the infrastructure needed to access to clean water, deliver reliable energy and advance environmental stewardship. The SAM Act is the right step to help ensure sustainable access to aggregates that will help build a better America.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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