Domestic production for calendar year 2019 is on pace to be a fraction of 1% of total demand and we will import roughly 99% of what we need from foreign countries; namely foreign adversaries Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China.

Excerpts from Congressional Western Caucus Press Release

Today, 50 Members of Congress and stakeholders throughout the country sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to take action to protect our national security interests by combating our foreign dependence on uranium.

The letter states in part, “The U.S. has become too dependent on foreign powers for these essential components of our economy and defense.”

“There is no reason America should be importing 97-99% of the uranium necessary for domestic reactors from foreign countries when we have an ample supply here at home that will create good-paying jobs and be mined under higher standards that protect our environment.”

“Acting in support of critical minerals, clean energy, American jobs and national security will revitalize the entire domestic fuel cycle, benefit local economies and put America back on the path to reclaiming the important role of global nuclear leadership that has been taken by our strategic adversaries.”

“We urge you to use your authority to take back from Moscow and Beijing control of America’s nuclear power plants.”

Background:

In April, Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sent the White House a report generated by a 9-month long Section 232 investigation into the national security impacts of imported uranium.

Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels, the two Colorado-based companies that requested the Department of Commerce investigation, recommended a quota that reserves a relatively small 25 percent of the U.S. market for the domestic uranium mining industry.

Domestic production for calendar year 2019 is on pace to be a fraction of 1% of total demand and we will import roughly 99% of what we need from foreign countries; namely foreign adversaries Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China.

U.S. utilities rely on foreign sources for 99 percent of the uranium they use to fuel the nuclear power plants that provide 20 percent of the country’s electricity. Uranium also fuels our nuclear Navy. But instead of buying from the domestic uranium mining companies that once thrived in the West, utilities are enriching adversarial countries like Russia and China. Following their carefully orchestrated geopolitical plan, Russia and its allies flood the global market with uranium from state-owned companies, making it impossible for America and other free market economies to compete. Meanwhile, quietly and gradually, China has been buying up previously free market uranium mines to control global supply. 

Letter from Congressional Western Caucus to President Trump

Mr. President,

We write to applaud the recent announcement from the Administration of its intent to take more actions to protect our national and economic security from reliance on foreign supplies of critical minerals. The list of 35 critical minerals encompasses necessary materials for clean energy production, nuclear deterrence, and enabling our smartphones to connect us with information and people from around the world. The U.S. has become too dependent on foreign powers for these essential components of our economy and defense.

Mr. President, another decision to support increased domestic production of one of these critical minerals is currently awaiting your attention. In April, Secretary Ross sent the White House a report generated by a nine-month long Section 232 investigation into the national security impacts of imported uranium. While the report is not currently available to Congress, our country’s growing dependence on foreign, state-owned sources of uranium is a threat to the national security and taking action to secure the domestic free market supply of this critical mineral is a national security imperative.

Our 98 domestic operating nuclear power plant reactors require roughly 50 million pounds of uranium annually. Nuclear is the cleanest, most reliable energy source in the United States.

Domestic production for calendar year 2019 is on pace to be a fraction of 1% of total demand and we will import roughly 99% of what we need from foreign countries; namely foreign adversaries Russia, Kazakhstan and China.

Instead of buying from the domestic uranium mining companies that once thrived in the West, utilities are enriching adversarial countries like Russia and China. Following their carefully orchestrated geopolitical plan, Russia and its allies flood the global market with uranium from state-owned companies, making it impossible for America and other free market economies to compete. Meanwhile, quietly and gradually, China has been buying up previously free market uranium mines to control global supply.

Rather than keep good jobs here at home and depend on our own resources to power the electric grid, the U.S. jeopardizes national security by relying on nations that have demonstrated their will to undermine our defense infrastructure and our economy, and to do us harm. As a result, America’s uranium mining industry is dying. U.S. uranium mining companies produced 721,000 pounds last year – only enough uranium to fuel about one nuclear reactor. And the uranium mining industries in allied countries, such as Canada and Australia, face the same challenges. Today, only one uranium mine operates in Canada and mines in Australia are slowing production.

There is no reason America should be importing 97-99% of the uranium necessary for domestic reactors from foreign countries when we have an ample supply here at home that will create good-paying jobs and be mined under higher standards that protect our environment. 

You have wisely acted to put America first and to stand up to practices our strategic adversaries have undertaken to broaden their control of certain markets to spread their geopolitical influence, often in direct conflict with our own national interest. Due to the efforts of Russia and China to control the uranium market and domestic users near-total reliance on imports, we believe that acting in support of domestic uranium production will put more Americans to work and make our country more secure -that’s a good deal. Furthermore, if we want to put a man on Mars, we are going to need uranium to make that happen.

We urge you to use your authority to take back from Moscow and Beijing control of America’s nuclear power plants. Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels, the two Colorado-based companies that requested the Department of Commerce investigation, recommended a quota that reserves a relatively small 25 percent of the U.S. market for the domestic uranium mining industry. We support this modest request. The companies also support recommendations for a “Buy American” policy for U.S. government entities that use uranium. It’s just common sense that the federal government shouldn’t be purchasing all our uranium for defense and other government needs from foreign countries that include China and Russia.

At a time when extremist organizations and Democratic Socialists are seeking to undermine the Trump agenda by removing uranium from the critical minerals list as well as permanently locking away rare earths and critical minerals on million-acre swaths of land simultaneously killing jobs and increasing our import reliance on China and Russia, the contrast couldn’t be more clear.

It is our hope that your actions in support of critical minerals, clean energy, American jobs and national security will revitalize the entire domestic fuel cycle, benefit local economies and put America back on the path to reclaiming the important role of global nuclear leadership that has been taken by our strategic adversaries.

In addition to the signers below, this letter is endorsed by the following individuals and organizations throughout the country: American Exploration & Mining Association; National Mining Association; Conservatives for Property Rights; Arizona Rock Products Association; Colorado Mining Association; Energy Fuels; enCore Energy Corp; Golden Vertex Corp; Idaho Mining Association; Laramide Resources LTD; Uranium Energy Corp, Ur-Energy; Arizona Liberty; Citizens for America-Arizona Chapter; New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association; New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc.; New Mexico Federal Lands Council; Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative; Texas Mining and Reclamation Association; Wyoming Mining Association; Executive Director of Range Association of Municipalities & Schools (RAMS)Steve Giorgi; Chairman, CEO and President of Up North Jobs Inc. Gerald Tyler; President of Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning, Yavapai County Supervisor District 1 Rowle P. Simmons; Yavapai County Supervisor District 2 Thomas Thurman.

Mr. President, thank you for your consideration of this request.

You can see the Congressional Western Caucus press release here


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