Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Jim Costa (CA-16) introduced The Mining Schools Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation to increase and improve opportunities for university and college mining and geological programs to prepare students to meet America’s future energy needs. Earlier this year, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), and ENR Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Senate companion of this bill.
“America’s miners and geological engineers are essential to rebuilding our economy and declaring domestic energy independence,” said Rep. Owens. “In 2018 and 2019, graduation rates for university and college mining and geological programs declined by over 21%. The Mining Schools Act of 2022 aims to reverse this trend by strengthening resources, deploying top-of-the-line technologies, increasing grant opportunities, and more. I am proud to introduce this bill with Congressman Costa in the House and thank Senators Barrasso and Manchin for their partnership.”
“The past few years have made clear the importance of a secure critical mineral supply chain. We must develop a talented and robust workforce to ensure we meet the growing demand for materials needed to build batteries, electric vehicles, and electronics of the future,” said Rep. Costa. “This bipartisan legislation will provide grant opportunities to schools like Fresno State and CSU Bakersfield to bolster their engineering programs, and other majors that feed into career opportunities in the mining industry.”
“Modern mining depends on a 21st century workforce that drives innovation, continues to prioritize health and safety while working to reduce environmental risk, and supports the communities where we live and work. To do this, we must recruit, educate, train, and develop tomorrow’s workforce today, giving the tools they will need to meet the challenge of developing the secure domestic supply chain that will deliver economic and national security for future generations. We applaud Reps. Owens and Costa for introducing this legislation and support their efforts to ensure our nation’s miners continue to be the best in the world.” – Rich Nolan, National Mining Association
“The Mining Schools Act of 2022 will provide critical resources that drive opportunities and innovation to improve mining schools that are essential for our modern way of life. For example, if enacted, new programs could be developed that provide scholarships to prospective students who wish to enroll in a program that increases the use of data analytics and machine learning to optimize mining production. These types of innovative programs will not only grow the talent pool for the next generation of miners but help drive key innovations that improve safety and sustainability.” – Michael Johnson, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
“Finding qualified Mining Engineers and Geologists has become a major challenge for our industry as enrollments and graduations in these fields continue to decrease. Careers in mining present graduates with the prospect of a fulfilling career, involvement in meaningful projects and operations, and important roles within business which have a major positive impact in local and regional communities. Mining projects and operations remain essential to national defense, energy security, and economic growth. It is critical that this vital industry attracts and rewards talented people. This proposed legislation is an important step towards addressing current challenges faced by our industry.” – Marc Maglione, Wolverine Fuels, LLC
Specifically, The Mining Schools Act of 2022 would:
- Establish a grant program for mining schools to receive funds in order to recruit students and carry out studies, research projects, or demonstration projects related to the production of minerals; and
- Establish the Mining Professional Development Advisory Board to evaluate applications and recommend recipients to the Secretary of Energy, as well as conduct oversight to ensure that grant funds are appropriately used.
The full text of the legislation is available here.