U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), released the following statement on the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) release of its critical minerals list for 2022. Unlike USGS’ critical minerals list for 2018, this year’s list excludes uranium, helium, and other minerals.
“The day after Russia invaded Ukraine, President Biden has released a critical minerals list that makes the United States more vulnerable to Russia and our adversaries,” said Barrasso. “For decades, Russia and its allies have worked to gain a commanding share of the world’s uranium market. American businesses are now dependent on Russia and its allies for half of the uranium they use. Russia is working to gain a similar share of the world’s helium market. By removing uranium and helium from the critical minerals list, President Biden has signaled he accepts Russia’s control over these resources. We have abundant supplies of uranium and helium. The president should make producing them in America a top priority.”
On February 1, 2022, Barrasso and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, opposing the USGS’ proposal to remove helium and uranium from the list of critical minerals.