EMA applauds congress on the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act
Arlington, VA, June 2, 2023 – The Essential Minerals Association (EMA) applauds Congress for its passage of the bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act, which in addition to raising the debt ceiling also provides crucial improvements to the nation’s permitting system that are of vital importance to the minerals industry.
“EMA greatly appreciates the bipartisan efforts from both Congress and the White House to take the critical first steps in addressing the well-documented issues related to the permitting process in the United States by passing the Fiscal Responsibility Act,” said EMA President Chris Greissing. “The lengthy and duplicative permit process has cost companies tens of millions of dollars and delayed essential projects from starting production and has caused us to be overly reliant on China, Russia, and other less-than-friendly nations for our mineral and supply chain needs. We encourage Congress to now finish the job and allow the nation to secure its supply chain by improving a more streamlined process to access our nation’s vast minerals deposits.”
Avoiding default on the nation’s obligations will ensure continued stability in the financial markets that will help EMA members continue to obtain capital and other assets they need. In addition, EMA members will now have a more efficient and predictable permitting system that will better enable them to provide the essential mineral resources the nation needs both now and for the future.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act provides for changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), including updated timelines for Environmental Assessments (one year) and Environmental Impact Statements (two years). In addition, project applicants now have the ability to provide their own draft Environmental Impact Statements for agencies to review, which saves valuable time in the process. Finally, the bill includes provisions to reform the definition of “reasonably foreseeable” impacts under NEPA.
However, there is still more work to be done, and EMA urges members of Congress and the White House to build on the momentum of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by continuing to pursue bipartisan solutions that will improve our nation’s permitting system.
The White House and Speaker McCarthy reached an agreement on the legislation last weekend, which was passed by the House of Representatives on May 31. The Senate passed the bill late last night. EMA thanks the White House, Speaker McCarthy, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell for facilitating swift passage of the bill. Thanks to the work of Speaker McCarthy, permitting reform was a central component of the bill.
The Essential Minerals Association (EMA) is the representative voice for companies that extract and process a vital and beneficial group of raw materials and minerals, which are the essential ingredients for many of the products used in everyday life. Formerly, the Industrial Minerals Association – North America, EMA ensures that the voices of its member companies and the socio-economic benefits they provide – from mining to end-use products – are heard by government leaders as well as the general public. Visit essentialminerals.org to learn more.