Yesterday, Rep. Mike Coffman [R-CO] sent a letter to his colleagues in the US House of Representatives, urging them to cosponsor House Resolution 4866, the Rare Earth Supply-Chain Technology and Resource Transformation (RESTART) Act of 2010, which he submitted to the House for consideration in March 2010.
The letter urged colleagues to co-sponsor the bill, which would
“[r]eestablish competitive domestic rare earths mineral production, processing, refining, purification, and metals production industries to support the growth of green job technology and manufacturing as well as the nation’s defense industry.”
Rep. Coffman went on to mention the recent Government Accountability Office [GAO] study on rare earth materials in the defense supply chain, which he requested be conducted last year, the results of which was released into the public domain last week. Rep. Coffman stated that
“The recent GAO Report on Rare Earth Metals in the Defense Supply Chain has highlighted the near term need for a sustainable supply chain on heavy rare earths in the U.S., both for critical American national defense and industrial applications.”
Generally, the more co-sponsors that a bill has, the greater are its chances that it will move through the various processes required for it to ultimately become law, either on its own or tucked into other legislation.
In addition to his “Dear Colleague” letter, earlier today Rep. Coffman sent a letter to leaders of the House Armed Services Committee, asking that hearings be scheduled in the near future to address the findings of the GAO study, and to give this committee time to gather information in order to “draw attention to this national security threat.”
We’ll try to keep you updated on the response of lawmakers to Rep. Coffman’s request for cosponsorship of the RESTART Act, and his request for new hearings on the rare earths supply chain.
[First published at RareMetalBlog.]