American Voters Want to Prioritize Pro-Mining Policies
February 4, 2020 - As the president prepares to deliver his third State of the Union address, U.S. voters want to see government action on a number of issues key to the mining industry – from reducing the nation’s alarming mineral import reliance by encouraging domestic mining to leading in developing and deploying advanced coal and emissions-reduction technologies – according to polling conducted by Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA).
“The Trump administration has made significant progress in returning balance to the regulatory landscape and has taken important steps to encourage responsible mining,” said Rich Nolan, president and CEO of NMA. “Americans want those steps forward to continue. They want the U.S. to use our balanced energy mix and vast mineral resources to drive economic growth and build the material supply chains essential to every piece of their lives. With the world firmly in an era of energy addition, and as the technologies of today and tomorrow only become more minerals and metals intensive, policies that encourage mining and energy innovation must be a priority.”
With coal holding its position as the world’s leading fuel for electricity generation, 63 percent of voters believe the U.S. should take an energy and environmental leadership role by pursuing the development and deployment of advanced coal and carbon capture technologies that can reduce emissions in the U.S. and overseas (only 11 percent disagree, remainder did not answer).
Additionally, 72 percent of Americans believe it is important to maintain an all-of-the-above energy approach that includes coal, natural gas, renewables and nuclear power.
Despite being home to enormous minerals reserves, the United States imports many of the materials required for its national defense, energy and manufacturing sectors, and import dependence has reached alarming levels. Cumbersome permitting processes mean it takes seven to 10 years to get a mining permit in the U.S., compared with two to three years in countries with comparable environmental standards.
Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the U.S. should be doing more to encourage the use of domestically mined minerals and decrease reliance on foreign-imported minerals (just 16 percent disagree, the remainder did not answer).
The polling was conducted by Morning Consult from January 28-30, 2020, among a national sample of 1,997 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.