A recent study by the US National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) calls on US legislators to streamline mine permit processes and safety regulations in order to bolster domestic rare earth production, which could add $40 billion to US GDP, 3,600 shovel-ready jobs, and could reduce US dependence on Chinese rare earth exports.
The NCPA points to Australia and Canada as examples of more efficient regulatory frameworks:
Australia and Canada set good examples of how it should be done. Their permit approval time is dramatically shorter than the average seven years it takes in this country. The U.S. needs to combine redundant and multiple agencies into a single ‘one-stop-shopping’ authority. Where possible, we can speed up the process by reviewing permit requests simultaneously instead of concurrently.
Rare earths are considered “strategic” metals as they are crucial to the production of a number of high-tech and energy-related goods like smart phones, flat-screen TVs, drills, wind turbines, and electric cars.
And rare earths are of particular importance to the United States. Without them, fighter jets, drones, and most computer-controlled equipment would have to undertake a lengthy process of redevelopment.
To read the study, click here.