Doe Run CEO Testifies on Critical Risks Facing Minerals Industry before U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee
23 Jul 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2014) – Today, The Doe Run Company’s (Doe Run) president and CEO, Jerry Pyatt, calls for the need to protect the nation’s domestic minerals supply in a testimony before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Pyatt is testifying on how tightening regulations and the uncertainty of today’s regulatory environment disincentivize U.S. companies from domestic manufacturing, thereby limiting the nation’s ability to take advantage of its own natural resources and the jobs they could create.
“The U.S. is heading down a dangerous path that will mean more dependence on foreign nations, which in turn will impact American jobs and the estimated $232 billion of total direct and indirect economic impact of U.S. mining,” said Pyatt. “This trend also impedes the innovation that is the cornerstone of our U.S. economy.”
The hearing is being conducted in response to urging from the Interstate Mining Compact Commission and the National Mining Association to reinforce the vital role that critical minerals and metals play in American manufacturing, and the need to ensure the continued domestic production of these minerals. Pyatt was invited to participate by Missouri Congressman Jason Smith, Missouri’s 8th District.
“For more than 150 years, Doe Run has been an invaluable contributor to Missouri’s economy,” said Congressman Smith. “Doe Run employs 1,400 people and adds $1 billion to our state’s economy each year. Recent Environmental Protection Agency regulations resulted in the closure of Doe Run’s Herculaneum lead smelter, the last primary lead smelter in the U.S. Hundreds of workers lost their jobs. I invited Mr. Pyatt to testify in front of the House Natural Resources Committee so he can help lawmakers and regulators understand the devastating impact federal regulations are having on rural Missouri and to raise awareness that the U.S. is now totally reliant on foreign countries for primary lead smelting.
“Our hope is that the perspectives shared during this hearing will encourage the Senate to approve H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, which would allow the U.S. to more efficiently develop its strategic and critical minerals so we can remain competitive in the global marketplace, and avoid overdependence on foreign nations for essential metals.”
Until the end of 2013, Doe Run produced 100 percent of the primary lead metal produced in the U.S. But, tightening regulations made it impossible to continue traditional smelting in the U.S. and Doe Run’s primary lead smelter, the last of its kind in the U.S., closed its doors in December 2013.
“We invested tens of millions of dollars into a revolutionary lead electrowinning technology with near-zero emissions,” said Pyatt. “This technology could return the U.S. to a producer of primary lead metal, a metal we use to start our cars, provide storage capacity for renewable energy, protect the nation’s military, and support innovations in health care. However, given the present unpredictable regulatory environment, we have tabled our decision to advance this technology here in the U.S. We believe this is just one example of how today’s U.S. regulatory policy, oftentimes advanced without the benefit of the best science, has put the country on an unsustainable path, dependent on foreign nations for jobs, goods and resources. Our nation must take a responsible and reasonable approach toward regulating the industry in order for us to continue propelling forward on a sustainable path.”
The testimony will occur as part of a larger oversight hearing titled “American Metals and Mineral Security: An Examination of the Domestic Critical Minerals Supply and Demand Chain.” Additional witness testimonies include Anthony Ku, of General Electric Co.’s GE Global Research; Mark Fellows, SNL Financial analyst; Brett Lambert, National Defense Industrial Association senior fellow; and Eric Peterson of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at Idaho National Laboratory.
The hearing will be broadcast at naturalresources.house.gov at 2 p.m. EST. (Click on ‘WATCH LIVE HEARINGS’ and select the 1334 hearing room feed.)
A full copy of Jerry Pyatt’s testimony is available online.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and a global provider of lead, copper and zinc concentrates. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling centers, located in Boss, Missouri. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit www.doerun.com and sustainability.doerun.com.