House committee approves mineral, public land bills

By Hannah Northey, Scott Streater | 03/12/2024 03:48 PM EDT

Republican legislation would block the Biden administration’s rulemaking on mine permitting, among a dozen bills passed out of committee Tuesday.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.).

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) speaking Tuesday about his legislation to accelerate mine permits. House Natural Resources Committee/YouTube

The House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday advanced a dozen public land and mining bills, including language that would block a Biden administration plan to only fast-track permitting of critical mineral projects.

The committee voted 22-13 along party lines to approve an amended version of H.R. 6862 from Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Dan Newhouse of Washington and Blake Moore of Utah. The committee by voice vote approved Lamborn’s amendment to name the bill the ‘‘Mineral Mining Parity Act.”

The bill would block a proposed rule from the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council — an agency set up to expedite environmental reviews for large projects — and ensure all hardrock mineral projects would be eligible for expedited consideration under the so-called FAST-41 streamlined regulatory review process.


The bill directly takes aim at a proposed rule that would limit the scope of “mining” to only include critical mineral projects — including processing and recycling — as defined by the Energy Act of 2020 and listed by the U.S. Geological Survey or by an act of Congress.