Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri slammed a top official from the Department of the Interior (DOI) over the agency’s mining policy during a Senate hearing on Thursday.
Hawley sharply criticized DOI Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau and the Biden administration’s apparent hesitance to domestically mine the essential minerals needed for green energy products.
Hawley exchanged words with Beaudreau during a hearing hosted by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to assess “opportunities to counter the People’s Republic of China’s control of critical mineral supply chains.”
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“I thought it was critical that we had supply chains in this country. And yet you’re shutting down critical mineral production in this country,” Hawley said. “Do you know instead what that’s making us reliant on? Do you know what China’s labor practices are?”
“You’ll get no argument from me that domestic sourcing,” Beaudreau answered, before Hawley interrupted him.
“They use child labor, is the answer to my question. Child labor. And harrowing conditions,” he said.
The Biden DOI has acted to reduce the use of public lands for extraction of minerals and other natural resources.
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“The Deputy Secretary’s response speaks for itself,” DOI spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz told the DCNF.
The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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