The White House today announced a Cabinet-level, interagency study of nonfuel minerals policy. The study, to be chaired by Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus, will consider international and domestic minerals supply and demand and the economic health of the minerals industry. It will focus on the most critical minerals.
The Cabinet-level coordinating committee will submit policy options and recommendations to the President within 15 months. The study was initiated by the President in response to congressional and public concerns.
Members of the coordinating committee will be the Secretaries of the Interior, State, the Treasury, Commerce, and Energy; the Administrators of EPA and GSA; the Director of the National Science Foundation; the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations; the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality; the Director of OMB; and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Some of the concerns to be addressed by the study are whether the trends toward international interdependence and the politicization of certain minerals markets are increasing U.S. vulnerability to foreign supply curtailments and price manipulations; whether U.S. reserves, production capacities, and inventories are adequate to deal with possible supply/ price interruptions, or with the economic and social consequences of such disruptions; whether the economic health of the domestic minerals industry is adequate; and whether land use decisions are based on adequate minerals information and analysis.
The study will be the first to use the Domestic Policy Review system, a process designed to ensure high-level, interagency consideration of important issues.