‘Assault on the blue-collar worker’: Stauber slams efforts to ban mining of critical minerals

The congressman from northeastern Minnesota also criticized the Democrats' "keep it in the ground mentality" because it makes the U.S. more reliant on countries like China.

Rep. Pete Stauber participates in a roundtable discussion Wednesday with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans. (Kevin McCarthy/YouTube)

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy recently held a roundtable discussion on how the Democratic Party’s social and economic policies will lead to continued energy outsourcing and make gas prices even higher than they currently are.

Several House Republicans took part in the discussion, including Rep. Pete Stauber of Minnesota. Business leaders in the energy sector also participated via Zoom.

Shortly after beginning the roundtable, McCarthy asked Stauber to speak about the effects that Democratic policies will have on the mining of critical minerals.

Stauber mentioned recent moves by the Biden administration to potentially ban mining in northeastern Minnesota for two decades, namely the ordering of a two-year pause on copper-nickel mining leases within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and a study on the “potential impacts of mining.”

“If we’re going to adapt to natural sources of energy, we need those critical minerals,” he said.

The congressman from northeastern Minnesota also criticized the Democrats’ “keep it in the ground mentality” because it makes the U.S. more reliant on countries like China and hurts the American middle class.

He believes a mining ban would have disastrous consequences that would affect all Americans, especially those in the middle and working classes.

“The middle class is going to pay more for gas at the pump, more for natural gas, and more for our commodities that we use every day. It’s really an assault on America, the blue-collar worker, and the union workers that support me in northeastern Minnesota,” said Stauber.

In April, Stauber introduced a bill titled “Accessing America’s Critical Minerals Act,” which aims to bring “common sense reforms to the permitting process” for mineral projects on federal land.

“For too long, activist groups have been able to hijack the permitting process, leaving our workers sidelined to wait for high quality jobs. Meanwhile, we ramp up dependency on foreign nations for minerals that we have in our own backyard,” he wrote in a statement.

The bill itself maintains that minerals like copper-nickel are “fundamental” to the economy and security of the United States. It calls for improved permitting performance goals and greater transparency and communication between the numerous departments involved in the permit process.