U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a senior member of the committee, expressed their concerns regarding the Biden Administration's delayed implementation of the critical mineral provisions contained in the Energy Act of 2020 and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In letters to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the Senators urged the Administration to prioritize Congressionally mandated critical mineral initiatives and immediately provide Congress with an update on their implementation efforts.
"Congress acted to provide substantial new authorities and federal assistance to boost domestic mineral supplies through the Energy Act of 2020, as well as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Due to the severity of the challenge, and the need for a robust and rapid Federal effort, many of these mineral provisions contained deadlines. Unfortunately, those deadlines have not been met," the Senators wrote in part. "We remain committed to maintaining and strengthening our nation's leadership and rebuilding our productive capacity in key sectors and value-chains. To do so, the [Administration] must prioritize these initiatives and ensure crucial deadlines are met. Without this effort we will remain vulnerable due to our lack of domestic production and processing of critical minerals, including rare earth elements."