U.S. Sen. Lisa Markowski (R-AK) has announced that the Department of the Interior will direct $ 74 million to mapping areas with potential for mineral extraction as part of the US Land Resource Mapping Initiative (USGS). Most of this funding – $ 64 million – is made possible by bipartisans Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which Senator Murkowski helped write, negotiate, and enter into law. This investment will be distributed among 30 states, including Alaska.
“Allowing America’s dependence on foreign minerals is not only a risk to our national security, but also an obstacle to our ability to maintain a stable internal supply chain. I worked hard to educate my colleagues and the administration about the enormous potential of states like Alaska and the importance of allowing us to use the resources that are in our own backyard. I am proud that the funding I helped provide through the bipartisan infrastructure law will take us one step closer to that. ” Said Senator Murkowski. “By improving research and data on critical minerals, we will be able to better identify which places in the United States have the greatest potential for responsible resource production. We will also further improve our ability to gather these resources in the most environmentally responsible and sustainable way possible. I will continue to use my Senate leadership to ensure that critical mineral supply chains in the United States are stable and responsibly produced on behalf of every American who relies on them.
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For more information on the initiatives that this funding will support, follow the links below.
Background: As a resource development country, Alaska has enormous potential locally, nationally, and globally. But despite growing interest in supplying domestic resources to the market, America continues to rely on foreign countries to meet our needs for oil, gas and minerals. The announcement builds on Senator Mrkowski’s diligent efforts to stimulate policy initiatives to create greater opportunities for America’s internal energy and critical markets. Recognizing that U.S. licensing deadlines are among the longest in the world, in April 2021, Murkowski introduced legislation to improve the quality and timeliness of federal licensing and review processes for the production of critical minerals on federal land. Parts of this legislation were adopted in law in IIJAwhich will improve the timeliness and efficiency of resolving critical mineral projects, such as the proposed development of graphite near Nome, cobalt in the Ambler area, or rare earth elements in the southeast.
Senator Murkowski also addressed the U.S. Senate, expressing concern about the Biden administration’s instructions on energy security, citing harmful actions such as placing additional federal lands and waters beyond restrictions. During her speech, she discussed concerns about America’s dependence on foreign nations to meet our resource needs and stressed the importance of allowing responsible resource development in the United States. Then she introduced Strategic Energy and Minerals Initiative Act (SEMI). in May 2021, its bill enables American companies to compete better in world markets by promoting responsible domestic production of oil, gas and minerals. The bill positions the United States to compete in global energy and critical mineral markets by supporting an overall energy strategy, repelling multilateral development banks that restrict fossil fuel and coal mining, and encouraging energy and mineral exports.
Within IIJASenator Murkowski helped provide a language that makes critical mineral development projects eligible to finance the DOE loan guarantee for Title 17.