Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Proposed Trump rule aims to ease restrictions on mineral mining companies

The Trump administration is proposing a rule to make it easier for mineral mining companies to lower their royalty rates and cut fees. The rule submitted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Wednesday aims to “streamline” the regulations placed on nonenergy U.S. mineral development and make those companies more competitive. The proposal argues that “existing regulatory requirements are overly restrictive, inflexible, and burdensome” and that the Interior secretary has the power to reduce ongoing royalty rates, rental fees and minimum production requirements to promote development.“The Trump administration is dedicated to enhancing the exploration and development of federal solid mineral resources in an environmentally conscious manner,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. “By eliminating burdensome regulations, the U.S. will have a stronger foothold to compete globally in non-energy, solid, leasable commodities markets and increase job opportunities at home instead of abroad.” Recommendations to simplify the process for obtaining royalty rate reductions were first made in February 2018 by Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee, a controversial advisory board made up largely of fossil fuel industry representatives established under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The charter of the committee was to advise on ways to eliminate obstacles to drilling and mining, including for minerals, faced by companies...MORE

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