AIPG encourages the U.S. and state governments to facilitate the development of domestic mineral resources in environmentally responsible manners. The U.S. is a major consumer of metals, construction raw materials, fertilizers, industrial chemicals, and other mined materials. These commodities are essential to modern society and our quality of life. Existing state and federal laws protect the environment during exploration, development, and closure of mining operations. Other laws prohibit mineral-resource development on environmentally sensitive land. However, if these commodities are not mined domestically, mines in other countries will meet U.S. demand. Many of these countries do not have environmental protection laws and regulatory programs that are as strong as those in the U.S.; unnecessary environmental degradation takes place in these countries. As global population increases and people throughout the world strive for higher standards of living, demand for mineral resources will increase. Recycling should accommodate some increased demand, but it will likely be able to supply only a small percentage of total needs for mined materials. Geologists contribute to exploration for and production of mineral resources, ground water and air-quality protection, reclamation, and long-term environmental monitoring after closure. State and federal regulators and land managers should use geological expertise to facilitate the permitting process for mineral-resource development.
- Position Statement