RARE Praises Bipartisan Effort to Pass Critical Mineral Legislation in the US Senate

Measure Failed to Secure Unanimous Consent Despite Overwhelmingly Bipartisan Support

Sep 24, 2012, 16:17 ET from RARE, The Association for Rare Earth

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- RARE, The Association for Rare Earth today thanked Senators Jeff Bingaman (D – NM) and Lisa Murkowski (R – AK) for their efforts to pass important critical mineral legislation, before the United States Senate recessed until after November's elections.  Said RARE president Adam Falkoff, "It is a good sign for America that there was a sincere effort to work across the aisle for a bill that directly impacts America's economy."  Senators Jim Webb (D - VA), Daniel Akaka (D – HI) and John Barrasso (R – WY) sponsored key elements of the legislation.  The Senate amendments to H.R. 4402, which would have required unanimous consent for passage, fell just shy of achieving that goal.

Continued Falkoff, "Despite the fact that Bingaman, Akaka and Webb are retiring this year, it is clear that they are still hard at work doing the nation's business.  RARE hopes that the same cooperative spirit that Senator Murkowski and her colleagues have accomplished in creating this amendment will carry into other critical mineral rights matters in front of Congress."

Of significance in the proposed Senate amendment to H.R. 4402 were measures aimed at securing domestic supplies of rare earths, as well as measures to ensure a reliable supply of helium.

Rare earth minerals are crucial for the production of flat panel televisions, smart phones, computing tablets, wind turbines, solar panels, MRIs and PET scanners, guided missiles, and much more. China controls 95% of the world's production of rare earth minerals and is tightening its control on these vital resources.  Helium is required for high-tech manufacturing and for vital research and development projects. 

About RARE: The Association for Rare Earth.  RARE is a bipartisan organization that seeks to increase the production of rare earth elements; remove barriers to access of rare earth elements domestically and internationally; increase the affordability and trade of rare earth minerals; and increase the affordability and availability of technologically and environmentally advanced products made with rare earth minerals -- all for the betterment of people's lives and the environment in which they live.    

RARE: The Association for Rare Earth
Contact: Dave Mohel, 703-217-2660, or press@rareearthassociation.org

SOURCE RARE, The Association for Rare Earth