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Obama's Resource Executive Order

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March 16, 2012

Executive Order - National Defense Resources Preparedness

Immediately following the wrap up of TREM12 last week, President Obama, acting in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United State of America, has signed an executive order on resources preparedness.

It is the policy of the president that "The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency.  The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness.  The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States."

The order includes a large section on the expansion of productive capacity and supply, and calls for loans, loan guarantees, subsidies and more. Of particular interest is the focus on Critical and Strategic minerals:

Sec. 306.  Strategic and Critical Materials.  The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager, are each delegated the authority of the President under section 303(a)(1)(B) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(a)(1)(B), to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of strategic and critical materials and other materials.

Sec. 307.  Substitutes.  The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 303(g) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(g), to make provision for the development of substitutes for strategic and critical materials, critical components, critical technology items, and other resources to aid the national defense.

"Strategic and critical materials" is defined in the document as "materials (including energy) that (1) would be needed to supply the military, industrial, and essential civilian needs of the United States during a national emergency, and (2) are not found or produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet such need and are vulnerable to the termination or reduction of the availability of the material."

Read the full text here.