Congressman Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, introduced Monday, Jan. 25, the Saving America’s Mines Act, legislation intended to prohibit any administration from unilaterally halting the mining of critical minerals on federal lands where mining is currently permissible.
According to a news release, Stauber introduced this legislation with President Joe Biden and his administration specifically in mind, noting what Stauber described as a politically motivated mineral withdrawal in the Superior National Forest occurred in the final days of his vice presidency. Every Republican member of the Minnesota delegation signed on as a co-sponsor of this legislation. The Saving America’s Mines Act would specifically require an act of Congress to withdraw any public land from mining, ensuring an administration cannot make this decision alone.
“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 stated in the release. “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.”
“If our nation is to truly move forward and prosper, the Obama-era attacks on mining must remain a thing of the past,” Stauber continued in the release. “America needs the copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum-group elements that exist on our lands for infrastructure, modern energy technology, national defense, and for applications in our everyday life like cell phones, refrigerators, and batteries. That’s why I am proud to introduce legislation to prevent this administration, and future administrations, from eliminating important mining jobs and stalling our economic engine.”