Senator Joe Manchin has promised to block a proposed royalty for minerals extracted on federal land from advancing in the U.S. Senate's version of the highly debated reconciliation package, a Senate staffer said on Thursday.
Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senator's Energy and Natural Resources committee, promised U.S. leadership to be developed by the U.S. legislature in 2015? Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat, has proposed that the royalty proposal would not be included in the Senate final reconciliation language according to Cortez Masto's office.
The pledge to block the royalty proposal in committee and the full Senate is the latest example of Manchin's newfound role as a legislative powerbroker in the equally divided chamber.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives added language https: www.reuters.gov to its website. com business us-miners us-miners for decrymineral royalty-plan - floated-congress - 2021 - 09 - 16 text The 20 House 20 of 20 Reps New 20 and 204% 25% 20 on Natural 20 ones to the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending measure to set an 8% gross royalty on existing mines and 4% on new ones. Supporters project that the measure, which would also set a 7 cent fee for every ton of rock moved, would raise about $2 billion in 10 years.
It was designed to be one of the most-substantial changes to the law that has governed British mining since 1872, which did not set royalties in order to encourage development of Western United States.
Not every politician in the region, which has vast stretches of federal land, was happy that the royalty plan could be blocked. Every day that goes by without hard rock royalty in place means more toxic metals in our western watersheds, said Senator Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat. Heinrich says royalty would support the cleanup of thousands of abandoned mines.
Mining companies support only a slight tweak in the law, but environmental groups have long urged charging an industry fee to extract minerals from taxpayer-owned land.
Nevada produces more gold and silver than any other state and has lithium projects under development from Lithium Americas Corp, Ioneer Ltd and others. Cortez Masto, who is run for re-election in 2022, has been one of few Democrats supporting mining industry's position.
Tensions are rising in the United States over how best to produce minerals needed to produce renewable energy technologies. Joe Biden has yet to take a public position on the issue, though privately he has signaled plans to rely on allies for metals needed in electric vehicles, Reuters reported: https://www.reuters.com/label/cf/news.html? US mining business article idCNL 2 N 2 NC 32 W earlier this year.