EMA Urges Congress to Curb Environmental Regulations Impact on Small Business

Arlington, VA., Feb. 14, 2024 – The Essential Minerals Association, along with other industry groups, sent a letter to the House Committee on Small Business urging them to consider the impact that stringent regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have on U.S. small businesses, which comprise the majority of mining operations in the United States.

“Small businesses are the backbone of cities and towns across the United States, providing high-paying jobs that deliver the energy and materials that are essential to all areas of American lives,” said Chris Greissing, EMA president. “I simply do not understand why the Biden Administration continues to promote regulations that are preventing them from achieving their long-stated goals of moving toward greener and more renewable energy solutions. By continuing to introduce these restrictive regulatory proposals, small businesses that can help achieve those goals are forced to spend their limited resources and time pushing back on these regulations rather than delivering the minerals manufacturers and the economy need.”

Under the Biden Administration, the EPA’s regulatory agenda has made it more difficult and expensive for these businesses to keep their doors open. The minerals industry supports reasonable regulations that protect the environment and human health, and existing regulations have been in place for decades for just this purpose. However, the EPA’s continued over-reach hinders the industry’s ability to stay competitive and reduce our reliance on hostile nations, such as China and Russia, for essential mineral resources. If we continue to source materials from these countries that lack environmental standards, we will continue to work against our own green agenda. We need viable natural resource development that allows for certainty among mine operators and processors that they are able to invest in the U.S. market.

We call on the House Committee on Small Business to recognize the importance of small mining companies, which generate more than $120 billion annually. Additionally, the committee needs to champion clear, predictable, and reasonable regulations that provide certainty to mining operations before they make large, time-consuming investments. Lastly, the committee must exercise its authority and provide oversight of EPA’s required economic impact analysis on small business and for the agency’s compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. EPA has shown a propensity to overlook the impact on small businesses in several rule makings they have proposed during this Administration. This simply cannot be allowed to continue. 

The mining and minerals industry in the United States is a critical part of the global economy. The products made possible by minerals impact everyday lives, and end uses include energy production and storage, transportation, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, agriculture and ranching, ceramic and glass, and sports and recreation.

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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. 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.