S 383

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 383

To promote the domestic production of critical minerals and materials, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 17, 2011

Mr. UDALL of Colorado introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To promote the domestic production of critical minerals and materials, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Critical Minerals and Materials Promotion Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITION OF CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS.

    In this Act:

      (1) IN GENERAL- The term `critical minerals and materials' means naturally occurring, nonliving, nonfuel substances with a definite chemical composition--

        (A) that perform an essential function for which no satisfactory substitutes exist; and

        (B) the supply of which has a high probability of becoming restricted, leading to physical unavailability or excessive costs for the applicable minerals and materials in key applications.

      (2) EXCLUSIONS- The term `critical minerals and materials' does not include ice, water, or snow.

SEC. 3. PROGRAM TO DETERMINE PRESENCE OF AND FUTURE NEEDS FOR CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS.

    (a) In General- The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the United States Geological Survey, shall establish a research and development program--

      (1) to provide data and scientific analyses for research on, and assessments of the potential for, undiscovered and discovered resources of critical minerals and materials in the United States and other countries; and

      (2) to analyze and assess current and future critical minerals and materials supply chains--

        (A) with advice from the Energy Information Administration on future energy technology market penetration; and

        (B) using the Mineral Commodity Summaries produced by the United States Geological Survey.

    (b) Global Supply Chain- The Secretary shall, if appropriate, cooperate with international partners to ensure that the program established under subsection (a) provides analyses of the global supply chain of critical minerals and materials.

SEC. 4. PROGRAM TO STRENGTHEN THE DOMESTIC CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS SUPPLY CHAIN FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES.

    The Secretary of Energy shall conduct a program of research, development, and demonstration to strengthen the domestic critical minerals and materials supply chain for clean energy technologies and to ensure the long-term, secure, and sustainable supply of critical minerals and materials sufficient to strengthen the national security of the United States and meet the clean energy production needs of the United States, including--

      (1) critical minerals and materials production, processing, and refining;

      (2) minimization of critical minerals and materials in energy technologies;

      (3) recycling of critical minerals and materials; and

      (4) substitutes for critical minerals and materials in energy technologies.

SEC. 5. STRENGTHENING EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN MINERAL AND MATERIAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FOR CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS PRODUCTION.

    (a) In General- The Secretary of Energy shall promote the development of the critical minerals and materials industry workforce in the United States.

    (b) Support- In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall support--

      (1) critical minerals and materials education by providing undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships at institutions of higher education, including technical and community colleges;

      (2) partnerships between industry and institutions of higher education, including technical and community colleges, to provide onsite job training; and

      (3) development of courses and curricula on critical minerals and materials.

SEC. 6. SUPPLY OF CRITICAL MINERALS AND MATERIALS.

    (a) Policy- It is the policy of the United States to promote an adequate and stable supply of critical minerals and materials necessary to maintain national security, economic well-being, and industrial production with appropriate attention to a long-term balance between resource production, energy use, a healthy environment, natural resources conservation, and social needs.

    (b) Implementation- To implement the policy described in subsection (a), the President, acting through the Executive Office of the President, shall--

      (1) coordinate the actions of applicable Federal agencies;

      (2) identify critical minerals and materials needs and establish early warning systems for critical minerals and materials supply problems;

      (3) establish a mechanism for the coordination and evaluation of Federal critical minerals and materials programs, including programs involving research and development, in a manner that complements related efforts carried out by the private sector and other domestic and international agencies and organizations;

      (4) promote and encourage private enterprise in the development of economically sound and stable domestic critical minerals and materials supply chains;

      (5) promote and encourage the recycling of critical minerals and materials, taking into account the logistics, economic viability, environmental sustainability, and research and development needs for completing the recycling process;

      (6) assess the need for and make recommendations concerning the availability and adequacy of the supply of technically trained personnel necessary for critical minerals and materials research, development, extraction, and industrial practice, with a particular focus on the problem of attracting and maintaining high-quality professionals for maintaining an adequate supply of critical minerals and materials; and

      (7) report to Congress on activities and findings under this subsection.

SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as are necessary.

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