The National Materials and Minerals Program plan and report that President Reagan sent to Congress on April 5 aims to ‘decrease America's minerals vulnerability’ while reducing future dependence on potentially unstable foreign sources of minerals. These goals would be accomplished by taking inventory of federal lands to determine mineral potential; by meeting the stockpile goals set by the Strategic and Critical Material Stockpiling Act; and by establishing a business and political climate that would encourage private-sector research and development on minerals.
Now that the Administration has issued its plan, the Subcommittee on Mines and Mining of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs will consider the National Minerals Security Act (NMSA), which was introduced 1 year ago by subcommittee chairman Jim Santini (D-Nev.) [Eos, May 19, 1981, p. 497]. The bill calls for establishing a three-member White-House-level council to coordinate the development of a national minerals policy; amending tax laws to assist the mining industry to make capital investments to locate and produce strategic materials; and creating a revolving fund for the sale and purchase of strategic minerals. In addition, the NMSA bill would allow the secretary of the interior to make previously withdrawn public lands available for mineral development. The subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Administration's plan on May 11. Interior Secretary James Watt has been invited to testify.