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115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      115-631

======================================================================



 
        NATIONAL STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MINERALS PRODUCTION ACT

                                _______
                                

 April 11, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 520]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 520) to require the Secretary of the Interior 
and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop 
domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of 
strategic and critical importance to the economic and national 
security and manufacturing competitiveness of the United 
States, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Strategic and Critical 
Minerals Production Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) the industrialization of developing nations has driven 
        demand for nonfuel minerals necessary for telecommunications, 
        military technologies, healthcare technologies, and 
        conventional and renewable energy technologies;
          (2) the availability of minerals and mineral materials are 
        essential for economic growth, national security, technological 
        innovation, and the manufacturing and agricultural supply 
        chain;
          (3) minerals and mineral materials are critical components of 
        every transportation, water, telecommunications, and energy 
        infrastructure project necessary to modernize the crumbling 
        infrastructure of the United States;
          (4) the exploration, production, processing, use, and 
        recycling of minerals contribute significantly to the economic 
        well-being, security, and general welfare of the United States; 
        and
          (5) the United States has vast mineral resources but is 
        becoming increasingly dependent on foreign sources of mineral 
        resources, as demonstrated by the fact that--
                  (A) 25 years ago, the United States was dependent on 
                foreign sources for 45 nonfuel mineral materials, of 
                which--
                          (i) 8 were imported by the United States to 
                        fulfill 100 percent of the requirements of the 
                        United States for those nonfuel mineral 
                        materials; and
                          (ii) 19 were imported by the United States to 
                        fulfill greater than 50 percent of the 
                        requirements of the United States for those 
                        nonfuel mineral materials;
                  (B) by 2015 the import dependence of the United 
                States for nonfuel mineral materials increased from 
                dependence on the import of 45 nonfuel mineral 
                materials to dependence on the import of 47 nonfuel 
                mineral materials, of which--
                          (i) 19 were imported by the United States to 
                        fulfill 100 percent of the requirements of the 
                        United States for those nonfuel mineral 
                        materials; and
                          (ii) 22 were imported by the United States to 
                        fulfill greater than 50 percent of the 
                        requirements of the United States for those 
                        nonfuel mineral materials;
                  (C) according to the Department of Energy, the United 
                States imports greater than 50 percent of the 41 metals 
                and minerals key to clean energy applications;
                  (D) the United States share of worldwide mineral 
                exploration dollars was 7 percent in 2015, down from 19 
                percent in the early 1990s;
                  (E) the 2014 Ranking of Countries for Mining 
                Investment, which ranks 25 major mining countries, 
                found that 7- to 10-year permitting delays are the most 
                significant risk to mining projects in the United 
                States; and
                  (F) in late 2016, the Government Accountability 
                Office found that--
                          (i) ``the Federal government's approach to 
                        addressing critical materials supply issues has 
                        not been consistent with selected key practices 
                        for interagency collaboration, such as ensuring 
                        that agencies' roles and responsibilities are 
                        clearly defined''; and
                          (ii) ``the Federal critical materials 
                        approach faces other limitations, including 
                        data limitations and a focus on only a subset 
                        of critical materials, a limited focus on 
                        domestic production of critical materials, and 
                        limited engagement with industry''.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' means--
                  (A) any agency, department, or other unit of Federal, 
                State, local, or tribal government; or
                  (B) an Alaska Native Corporation.
          (2) Alaska native corporation.--The term ``Alaska Native 
        Corporation'' has the meaning given the term ``Native 
        Corporation'' in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims 
        Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602).
          (3) Lead agency.--The term ``lead agency'' means the agency 
        with primary responsibility for issuing a mineral exploration 
        or mine permit for a project.
          (4) Mineral exploration or mine permit.--The term ``mineral 
        exploration or mine permit'' includes--
                  (A) an authorization of the Bureau of Land Management 
                or the Forest Service, as applicable, for premining 
                activities that requires an environmental impact 
                statement or similar analysis under the National 
                Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
                seq.);
                  (B) a plan of operations issued by--
                          (i) the Bureau of Land Management under 
                        subpart 3809 of part 3800 of title 43, Code of 
                        Federal Regulations (or successor regulations); 
                        or
                          (ii) the Forest Service under subpart A of 
                        part 228 of title 36, Code of Federal 
                        Regulations (or successor regulations); and
                  (C) a permit issued under an authority described in 
                section 3503.13 of title 43, Code of Federal 
                regulations (or successor regulations).
          (5) Project.--The term ``project'' means a project for which 
        the issuance of a permit is required to conduct activities for, 
        relating to, or incidental to mineral exploration, mining, 
        beneficiation, processing, or reclamation activities--
                  (A) on a mining claim, millsite claim, or tunnel site 
                claim for any locatable mineral; or
                  (B) in conjunction with any Federal mineral (other 
                than coal and oil shale) that is leased under--
                          (i) the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired 
                        Lands (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.); or
                          (ii) section 402 of Reorganization Plan 
                        Numbered 3 of 1946 (5 U.S.C. App.).

SEC. 4. IMPROVING DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIC AND CRITICAL MINERALS.

  (a) Definition of Strategic and Critical Minerals.--In this section, 
the term ``strategic and critical minerals'' means minerals that are 
necessary--
          (1) for the national defense and national security 
        requirements;
          (2) for the energy infrastructure of the United States, 
        including--
                  (A) pipelines;
                  (B) refining capacity;
                  (C) electrical power generation and transmission; and
                  (D) renewable energy production;
          (3) for community resiliency, coastal restoration, and 
        ecological sustainability for the coastal United States;
          (4) to support domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, 
        telecommunications, healthcare, and transportation 
        infrastructure; or
          (5) for the economic security of, and balance of trade in, 
        the United States.
  (b) Consideration of Certain Domestic Mines as Infrastructure 
Projects.--A domestic mine that, as determined by the lead agency, will 
provide strategic and critical minerals shall be considered to be an 
infrastructure project, as described in Executive Order 13807.

SEC. 5. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LEAD AGENCY.

  (a) In General.--The lead agency shall appoint a project lead within 
the lead agency, who shall coordinate and consult with cooperating 
agencies and any other agencies involved in the permitting process, 
project proponents, and contractors to ensure that cooperating agencies 
and other agencies involved in the permitting process, project 
proponents, and contractors--
          (1) minimize delays;
          (2) set and adhere to timelines and schedules for completion 
        of the permitting process;
          (3) set clear permitting goals; and
          (4) track progress against those goals.
  (b) Determination Under NEPA.--
          (1) In general.--To the extent that the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) 
        applies to the issuance of any mineral exploration or mine 
        permit, the requirements of that Act shall be considered to 
        have been procedurally and substantively satisfied if the lead 
        agency determines that any State or Federal agency acting under 
        State or Federal law has addressed or will address the 
        following factors:
                  (A) The environmental impact of the action to be 
                conducted under the permit.
                  (B) Possible adverse environmental effects of actions 
                under the permit.
                  (C) Possible alternatives to issuance of the permit.
                  (D) The relationship between long- and short-term 
                uses of the local environment and the maintenance and 
                enhancement of long-term productivity.
                  (E) Any irreversible and irretrievable commitment of 
                resources that would be involved in the proposed 
                action.
                  (F) That public participation will occur during the 
                decisionmaking process for authorizing actions under 
                the permit.
          (2) Written requirement.--In making a determination under 
        paragraph (1), not later than 90 days after receipt of an 
        application for the permit, the lead agency, in a written 
        record of decision, shall--
                  (A) explain the rationale used in reaching the 
                determination;
                  (B) state the facts in the record that are the basis 
                for the determination; and
                  (C) show that the facts in the record could allow a 
                reasonable person to reach the same determination as 
                the lead agency did.
  (c) Coordination on Permitting Process.--
          (1) In general.--The lead agency shall enhance government 
        coordination for the permitting process by--
                  (A) avoiding duplicative reviews;
                  (B) minimizing paperwork; and
                  (C) engaging other agencies and stakeholders early in 
                the process.
          (2) Considerations.--In carrying out paragraph (1), the lead 
        agency shall consider--
                  (A) deferring to, and relying on, baseline data, 
                analyses, and reviews performed by State agencies with 
                jurisdiction over the proposed project; and
                  (B) to the maximum extent practicable, conducting any 
                consultations or reviews concurrently rather than 
                sequentially if the concurrent consultation or review 
                would expedite the process.
          (3) Memorandum of agency agreement.--If requested at any time 
        by a State or local planning agency, the lead agency, in 
        consultation with other Federal agencies with relevant 
        jurisdiction in the environmental review process, may establish 
        memoranda of agreement with the project sponsor, State and 
        local governments, and other appropriate entities to accomplish 
        the coordination activities described in this subsection.
  (d) Schedule for Permitting Process.--
          (1) In general.--For any project for which the lead agency 
        cannot make the determination described subsection (b), at the 
        request of a project proponent, the lead agency, cooperating 
        agencies, and any other agencies involved with the mineral 
        exploration or mine permitting process shall enter into an 
        agreement with the project proponent that sets time limits for 
        each part of the permitting process, including--
                  (A) the decision on whether to prepare an 
                environmental impact statement or similar analysis 
                required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
                1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);
                  (B) a determination of the scope of any environmental 
                impact statement or similar analysis required under the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
                4321 et seq.);
                  (C) the scope of, and schedule for, the baseline 
                studies required to prepare an environmental impact 
                statement or similar analysis required under the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
                4321 et seq.);
                  (D) preparation of any draft environmental impact 
                statement or similar analysis required under the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
                4321 et seq.);
                  (E) preparation of a final environmental impact 
                statement or similar analysis required under the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
                4321 et seq.);
                  (F) any consultations required under applicable law;
                  (G) submission and review of any comments required 
                under applicable law;
                  (H) publication of any public notices required under 
                applicable law; and
                  (I) any final or interim decisions.
          (2) Time limit for permitting process.--Except if extended by 
        mutual agreement of the project proponent and the lead agency, 
        the time period for the total review process described in 
        paragraph (1) shall not exceed 30 months.
  (e) Limitation on Addressing Public Comments.--The lead agency shall 
not be required to address any agency or public comments that were not 
submitted--
          (1) during a public comment period or consultation period 
        provided during the permitting process; or
          (2) as otherwise required by law.
  (f) Financial Assurance.--The lead agency shall determine the amount 
of financial assurance required for reclamation of a mineral 
exploration or mining site, on the condition that the financial 
assurance shall cover the estimated cost if the lead agency were to 
contract with a third party to reclaim the operations according to the 
reclamation plan, including construction and maintenance costs for any 
treatment facilities necessary to meet Federal, State, or tribal 
environmental standards.
  (g) Projects Within National Forests.--With respect to projects on 
National Forest System land, the lead agency shall--
          (1) exempt from the requirements of part 294 of title 36, 
        Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations)--
                  (A) all areas of identified mineral resources in land 
                use designations, other than nondevelopment land use 
                designations, in existence on the date of enactment of 
                this Act; and
                  (B) all additional routes and areas that the lead 
                agency determines necessary to facilitate the 
                construction, operation, maintenance, and restoration 
                of an area described in paragraph (1); and
          (2) continue to apply the exemptions described in paragraph 
        (1) after the date on which approval of the minerals plan of 
        operations described in section 3(4)(B)(ii) for the National 
        Forest System land.
  (h) Application to Existing Permit Applications.--
          (1) In general.--This section applies to a mineral 
        exploration or mine permit for which an application was 
        submitted before the date of enactment of this Act if the 
        applicant for the permit submits a written request to the lead 
        agency for the permit.
          (2) Implementation.--The lead agency shall begin implementing 
        this section with respect to an application described in 
        paragraph (1) not later than 30 days after the date on which 
        the lead agency receives the written request for the permit.

SEC. 6. FEDERAL REGISTER PROCESS FOR MINERAL EXPLORATION AND MINING 
                    PROJECTS.

  (a) Departmental Review.--Absent any extraordinary circumstances, as 
determined by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of 
Agriculture, as applicable, and except as otherwise required by law, 
the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture, as 
applicable, shall ensure that each Federal Register notice associated 
with the issuance of a mineral exploration or mine permit and required 
by law shall be--
          (1) subject to any required reviews within the Department of 
        the Interior or the Department of Agriculture, as applicable; 
        and
          (2) published in final form in the Federal Register not later 
        than 45 days after the date of initial preparation of the 
        notice.
  (b) Preparation.--The preparation of any Federal Register notice 
described in subsection (a) shall be delegated to the organizational 
level within the lead agency.
  (c) Transmission.--All Federal Register notices described in 
subsection (a) regarding official document availability, announcements 
of meetings, or notices of intent to undertake an action shall 
originate in, and be transmitted to the Federal Register from, the 
office in which, as applicable--
          (1) the documents or meetings are held; or
          (2) the activity is initiated.

SEC. 7. SECRETARIAL ORDER NOT AFFECTED.

  This Act shall not apply to any mineral described in Secretarial 
Order 3324, issued by the Secretary of the Interior on December 3, 
2012, in any area to which the order applies.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 520 is to require the Secretary of the 
Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently 
develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials 
of strategic and critical importance to the economic and 
national security and manufacturing competitiveness of the 
United States.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Domestic mining is essential to the economic well-being, 
national security, and continued technological advancement of 
the United States. Mining provides essential metals and 
minerals for industries across the country, including 
agriculture, telecommunications, construction, health care, 
manufacturing, transportation, and renewable energy. It also 
supplies raw materials necessary to rebuild America's 
infrastructure.
    H.R. 520 supports robust mineral production in the United 
States by boosting efficiency in the permitting process for 
these resources, emphasizing coordination between federal and 
State agencies, minimizing delays and duplicative reviews, and 
creating more predictable timeframes.
    H.R. 520 also aligns with policy objectives in President 
Trump's Executive Order 13817 (82 FR 60835) outlining a federal 
strategy to ensure a reliable supply of critical minerals. The 
federal government is instructed to ``[streamline] leasing and 
permitting processes to expedite exploration, production, 
processing, reprocessing, recycling, and domestic refining of 
critical minerals.''\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\President Donald J. Trump, ``Presidential Executive Order on a 
Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical 
Minerals,'' The White House, December 20, 2017. https://
www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-
federal-strategy-ensure-secure-reliable-supplies-critical-minerals/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2017, industrial materials production, including sand, 
gravel, and crushed stone, had a total value of $48.9 billion, 
while metal mines' production was valued at $26.3 billion.\2\ 
Every building, bridge, highway, and infrastructure project 
relies on mined materials, such as the metallurgical coal and 
iron ore used in steel production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\United States Geological Survey, ``Mineral Commodities Summaries 
2018,'' January 31, 2018. https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/
2018/mcs2018.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the existence of substantial reserves of critical 
resources in the United States, the issue of import reliance 
has become an increasing area of concern. In 1986, the United 
States was dependent on foreign sources for 30 non-fuel mineral 
materials; in 2017, the number of net import reliant 
commodities more than doubled to 64.\3\ Of these, 21 
commodities were imported at a rate of 100%.\4\ China provides 
the greatest number of these materials to the United States, 
acting as a major supplier of 26 commodities in 2017.\5\ As 
such, the United States is dependent on China for many 
necessary components of technology used from laptops to cell 
phones, as well as military applications and healthcare. In the 
event of disruptions to the global supply chain, the United 
States needs a robust domestic mineral supply to meet strategic 
needs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Id.
    \4\Id.
    \5\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Before any mining project may occur in the United States, 
the interested parties must first proceed through the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) 
process, undergo extensive permitting analysis at the federal 
and State level, demonstrate financial assurance, and engage 
with stakeholders. These tasks take years to complete.
    Acquiring all necessary permits is a particularly time-
consuming, confusing, and expensive process. Agencies at both 
the State and federal level share different regulatory and land 
management responsibilities for aspects of the mining 
permitting process, resulting in an unclear delineation of 
authority.
    Today, the United States averages 7 to 10 years for final 
permitting approval, and permitting delays are considered the 
greatest risk to the economic viability of mining projects in 
the United States.\6\ In comparison, countries like Canada and 
Australia have demonstrated a capacity to follow specific 
permitting timelines while maintaining environmental 
protections. These countries' permitting timeframes average 
around two years,\7\ and are ranked as the top two countries 
for mining investment.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Behre Dolbear, ``2014 Ranking of Countries for Mining 
Investment,'' 2014. http://www.dolbear.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/
2014-Where-to-Invest.pdf.
    \7\SNL Metals & Mining, ``Permitting, Economic Value and Mining in 
the United States,'' June 2015. https://nma.org/wp-content/uploads/
2016/09/SNL_Permitting_Delay_Report-Online.pdf.
    \8\Behre Dolbear, ``2014 Ranking of Countries for Mining 
Investment''.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 520 improves and streamlines the permitting process. 
It authorizes a lead agency to coordinate between federal 
agencies, States, and project proponents to minimize delays, 
create and adhere to permitting timelines, set clear permitting 
goals, and track progress against those goals.
    H.R. 520 also includes a provision on NEPA determination, 
under which the authorized lead agency will consider NEPA 
satisfied with respect to the permit if a State or federal 
agency takes specified considerations into account, including 
the environmental impact of the action to be conducted under 
the permit. If the lead agency cannot make this determination, 
the agency will work with the project proponent and other 
relevant parties to create a permitting timeline, which cannot 
exceed 30 months. This expedites permitting reviews while 
maintaining robust environmental protections.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    The ``National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production 
Act.''

Section 2. Findings

Section 3. Definitions

Section 4. Improving development of strategic and critical minerals

    This section defines ``strategic and critical minerals'' as 
minerals that are necessary: (1) for national defense and 
national security requirements; (2) for domestic energy 
infrastructure; (3) for community resiliency, coastal 
restoration, and the ecological sustainability for the coastal 
United States; (4) to support domestic manufacturing, 
agriculture, housing, telecommunications, healthcare, and 
transportation infrastructure; or (5) for the nation's economic 
security and trade balance.
    A domestic mine that provides strategic and critical 
minerals shall be treated as an ``infrastructure project'' as 
described in Executive Order 13807.

Section 5. Responsibilities of the lead agency

    The lead agency shall appoint a project lead to coordinate 
and consult with cooperating agencies and other agencies 
involved in the permitting process, project proponents, and 
contractors to: (1) minimize delays; (2) set and adhere to 
permitting timelines and schedules; (3) set clear permitting 
goals; and (4) track progress against those goals.
    If the lead agency determines that any State or federal 
agency has addressed or will address the environmental impact 
of the action to be conducted under the permit, as well as 
other specified considerations, then NEPA is considered 
satisfied with respect to mineral exploration or mine permits.
    This section requires a written record of decision from the 
lead agency regarding its determination under NEPA within 90 
days after receipt of a permit application.
    This section requires the lead agency to enhance government 
coordination on permitting and review by avoiding duplicative 
reviews, minimizing paperwork, and engaging other agencies and 
stakeholders early in the process.
    The lead agency shall consider data and analysis from the 
State of jurisdiction and, as much as is practical, 
consultations and reviews shall be conducted concurrently 
rather than sequentially.
    This section allows the lead agency, upon request from a 
State or local planning agency, to establish memoranda of 
agreement with the project sponsor and other appropriate 
entities to accomplish coordination activities.
    If the lead agency cannot make the NEPA determination, a 
project proponent can request that the project lead enter into 
an agreement that sets time limits for each part of the 
permitting process; this review process cannot exceed 30 
months, unless an extension is mutually agreed upon.
    The lead agency only has to address agency or public 
comments that are submitted during the public comment period.
    The lead agency shall determine financial assurance 
requirements for reclamation of a mineral exploration or mining 
site.
    This section exempts certain projects on National Forest 
Service land from part 294 of title 36, Code of Federal 
Regulations, or successor regulations.
    Applies this section to any existing mineral exploration or 
mine permit if the applicant submits a written request to the 
lead agency; this section will apply to existing permit 
applications no later than 30 days after the lead agency 
receives the request.

Section 6. Federal Register process for mineral exploration and mining 
        projects

    This section reforms the process currently practiced by the 
Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, 
for placing and reviewing Federal Register notices for mineral 
exploration and mine permits.

Section 7. Secretarial Order not affected

    Areas covered by Secretarial Order 3324, issued by the 
Secretary of the Interior on December 3, 2012, are not affected 
by this Act.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 520 was introduced on January 13, 2017, by Congressman 
Mark E. Amodei (R-NV). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On February 15, 
2018, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the legislation. On 
March 7, 2018, the Natural Resources Committee met to consider 
the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ) offered an amendment 
designated #1; it was adopted by voice vote. Congressman Garret 
Graves (R-LA) offered an amendment designated #1; it was 
adopted by voice vote. Congressman Alan S. Lowenthal (D-CA) 
offered an amendment designated 043; it was not adopted by a 
roll call of 16 yeas and 20 nays, as follows:


    Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute designated 002; it was not adopted 
by a roll call of 17 yeas and 20 nays, as follows:


    No further amendments were offered and the bill, as 
amended, was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a bipartisan roll call vote of 21 yeas and 
16 nays, as follows:


            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

      COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII AND CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 28, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 520, the National 
Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 520--National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act

    H.R. 520 would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
and the Forest Service to take actions aimed at simplifying the 
permitting process for extracting certain minerals from federal 
lands. The bill would direct the affected agencies to 
coordinate with other agencies to reduce permitting delays and 
expedite the publishing of notices in the Federal Register 
related to mineral exploration and mining projects.
    Based on information from the affected agencies, CBO 
estimates that those provisions would have no significant 
budgetary effect because the agencies are already performing 
most of the activities. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing 
that provision would cost less than $300,000 a year, or roughly 
the equivalent of two full-time employees. Such spending would 
be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Those 
employees would help the affected agencies enhance interagency 
cooperation and meet the expedited timelines established in the 
bill.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 520 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 520 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 520 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to require the Secretary of the 
Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently 
develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials 
of strategic and critical importance to the economic and 
national security and manufacturing competitiveness of the 
United States.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes to existing 
law.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 520 is virtually identical to bills with the same 
title that have been reported out of the Natural Resources 
Committee in each of the three previous Congresses, so details 
on our opposition to the bill's weakened environmental review 
process for new mines and the overly broad definition of 
``critical and strategic minerals'' has already been well 
documented in prior dissenting views.\1\ The fact that this is 
the fourth committee report for the same bill highlights the 
key problem with the Majority's strategy on this issue: they 
continue to pass extreme, partisan legislation that they are 
able to get through the House on party-line votes but unable to 
advance in the Senate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\H. Rept. 112-583 accompanying H.R. 4402; H. Rept. 113-138 
accompanying H.R. 761; H. Rept. 114-253 accompanying H.R. 1937
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If the Majority was serious about legislating on critical 
and strategic minerals, they would work to develop a bipartisan 
compromise that addressed the legitimate need to diversify our 
sources of truly critical and strategic minerals. During 
markup, Committee Democrats offered two amendments using 
Republican language on critical minerals in an effort to break 
the partisan logjam and report something that would have a more 
realistic chance of being signed into law. Neither one received 
a single Republican vote.
    The first amendment, from Mr. Lowenthal, would have 
replaced the definition of ``critical and strategic minerals'' 
in H.R. 520 with the definition from Executive Order 13817, ``A 
Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of 
Critical Minerals,'' signed by President Trump on December 20, 
2017.\2\ While we do not completely agree with the definition 
in Executive Order 13817, and believe the draft list of 
critical minerals published by the Department of the Interior 
is inappropriately broad,\3\ the fact that the list excludes 
any minerals at all makes it orders of magnitude more selective 
than H.R. 520. The Majority argued at markup that Mr. 
Lowenthal's amendment would defeat the purpose of the bill by 
eliminating the flexibility necessary to account for changing 
needs and technologies. The fact that the Administration's 
draft list of critical minerals was published less than two 
months after the Executive Order shows that the Majority's 
concern about flexibility is completely unfounded. There is no 
need to define every single mineral as critical in advance if 
it will only take a couple of months to designate a mineral as 
critical using a more reasonable definition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\82 FR 60835 (December 26, 2017)
    \3\83 FR 7065 (Feburary 16, 2018)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The second amendment, offered by Ranking Member Grijalva, 
was a substitute for the entire bill using language from S. 
2012 in the 114th Congress, Senator Murkowski's (R-AK) 
bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which 
passed the Senate with 85 votes. Once again, the Majority 
turned their back on productively advancing legislation that 
could realistically be signed into law and make a positive 
contribution to critical minerals issues in the United States. 
Instead, they voted to advance their highly partisan 
legislation that reads like a mining industry wish list and has 
zero chance of becoming law.
    Both amendments demonstrated our willingness to work with 
the Majority on compromise critical minerals legislation, but 
the Majority made it very clear that they intend to adhere to 
their futile all-or-nothing approach that only succeeds in 
accomplishing nothing.

                                   Raul M. Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member, Committee on 
                                               Natural Resources.
                                   Grace Napolitano.
                                   Jared Huffman.
                                   Darren Soto.




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