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3/21/18 Last week, the US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources voted a dangerous bill, H.R.520, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production, out of committee.

Sponsored by Nevada Representative Mark Amodei, the bill makes public participation optional as mining proposals make their way through agencies. This is a direct attack on the bedrock environment law NEPA and on our participation as citizens in deciding what happens on our public land!

Please contact House members and ask them to vote “no” on HR520.

Talking Points:

➢ The public may be left out of critical decisions regarding planning on our public lands . You can quote the bill: any state or federal agency may determine “whether public participation will occur during the decision-making process…”

➢ The list of strategic minerals in the bills is too inclusive; practically all minerals would be considered “strategic and critical” and projects involving their extraction could be fast-tracked;

➢ It’s false for the bills’ adherents to contend that mining projects spend 7-10 years waiting for final approval; the GAO cited an average 2-year process.

If you live in Assemblyman Amodei’s 2nd Congressional District (most of Lyon County, all of Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Pershing, Storey and Washoe counties and Carson City) email him here: https://amodei.house.gov/email-me/

If you live in another district or state find your representative here:

BACKGROUND One of GBRW’s most important jobs is to provide detailed technical comments about mining projects. Many project plans are technical in nature and it’s challenging for the public to digest the information Considerable time and a technical background is typically needed for helpful comments. The process public input is regulated primarily by the bedrock environmental law, The National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). HR 520 and its companion Senate Bill S145 may offer convincing arguments that agencies must be able to quickly ok projects involving minerals of a strategic nature. But the bills will do far more harm than good by undermining public participation provisions of NEPA.

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