This bill would require the Dept. of the Interior (DOI) and the Dept. of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of strategic and critical minerals and mineral materials — including rare earth elements.
These agencies would define strategic and critical minerals as those that are necessary:
For national defense and national security requirements;
For the nation’s energy infrastructure including pipelines, refining capacity, electrical power generation and transmission, and renewable energy production;
To support domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, telecommunications, health care, and transportation infrastructure;
For the nation’s economic security and balance of trade.
The permitting process for mineral exploration would be streamlined by clearly defining the duties of a lead agency. The total review period for issuing permits would be limited 30 months unless those involved agree to an extension. Currently, there is no limit on when permit review must end decisions be issued.
Litigation against mineral mining projects would have to be initiated and concluded within specified timeframes. A legal challenge to an energy project would have to be filed within 90 days, and the venue of the challenge would have to be the judicial district that the project would occur in. Any preliminary injunction to halt mining projects would be limited to 60 days unless the court finds reason to extend the injunction.