Enrolled SR 11: Relating to the mining and processing of rare earth elements in Alaska and to the stockpiling of rare earth elements; and urging the United States Congress to pass H.R. 4866.
00Enrolled SR 11 01 Relating to the mining and processing of rare earth elements in Alaska and to the stockpiling 02 of rare earth elements; and urging the United States Congress to pass H.R. 4866. 03 _______________ 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE: 05 WHEREAS the United States once was largely self-sufficient in rare earth elements; 06 and 07 WHEREAS mineable concentrations of rare earth elements are not commonly found; 08 and 09 WHEREAS rare earth elements are exceptionally valuable because of their unique 10 chemical, electrical, and physical properties; and 11 WHEREAS the unique chemical, electrical, and physical properties of rare earth 12 elements make them indispensable for a wide variety of emerging critical technologies, and, 13 in particular, technologies needed for defense and clean energy applications; and 14 WHEREAS the United States has become almost entirely dependent on foreign 15 sources of yttrium, niobium, and rare earth elements, as well as associated elements of
01 tantalum and zirconium; and 02 WHEREAS dysprosium and terbium are among the scarcest, most valuable, and most 03 sought after rare earth metals needed for green technology and military applications; and 04 WHEREAS the value-added technology and skill to allow both the recovery of rare 05 earth elements from mineral forms in ore and the manufacture of finished products, such as 06 magnets, from rare earth elements has almost entirely migrated to China, as has the actual 07 mining of rare earth ores; and 08 WHEREAS China currently accounts for 97 percent of the world's production of rare 09 earth elements; and 10 WHEREAS China has reduced its exports of rare earth elements; and 11 WHEREAS a future in which manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels, advanced 12 batteries, and geothermal steam turbines are produced only outside of the United States poses 13 a risk to the country; and 14 WHEREAS, after extraction of rare earth ores, processing, refining, and production 15 are needed to provide the United States with self-reliance in these technologies; and 16 WHEREAS, in contrast to rare earth element deposits found elsewhere in the United 17 States, Bokan Mountain discoveries on the southern end of Prince of Wales Island are rich in 18 the heavy rare earth elements of europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, thulium, 19 holmium, erbium, ytterbium, lutetium, and yttrium; and 20 WHEREAS continued exploration, together with the establishment of secondary 21 processing and research facilities in Alaska, would result in new career opportunities for 22 Alaskans; and 23 WHEREAS current economic opportunities on Prince of Wales Island and throughout 24 Alaska have significantly decreased; and 25 WHEREAS the federal Tongass National Forest Land and Resource Management 26 Plan has been completed and the Bokan Mountain area zoned for mineral development; and 27 WHEREAS the state's Prince of Wales Island Area Plan has been completed and the 28 Kendrick Bay area classified for mineral and forestry access and development; and 29 WHEREAS overland access and transport requirements in the Tongass National 30 Forest are mitigated by immediate access to the mining property by ocean transport; and 31 WHEREAS H.R. 4866 has been introduced in the United States Congress to
01 reestablish a competitive domestic rare earth elements production industry, a domestic rare 02 earth processing, refining, purification, and metals production industry, a domestic rare earth 03 metals alloying industry, and a domestic rare earth-based magnet production industry and 04 supply chain in the United States; 05 BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate urges the United States Congress expeditiously to 06 pass H.R. 4866; and be it 07 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate recommends continued exploration of rare 08 earth deposits in Alaska, the issuance of permits, as promptly as allowed by law, for 09 extraction, processing, and production of rare earth materials on the Bokan Mountain 10 properties, and commencement of planning for extraction, processing, and production of rare 11 earth materials by industry. 12 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ike Skelton, Chair of the 13 Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Sander M. 14 Levin, Acting Chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives; 15 the Honorable Barney Frank, Chair of the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of 16 Representatives; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. 17 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 18 delegation in Congress; and all other members of the 111th United States Congress.