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U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, all R-Wyo., issued the following statements today regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed rule to streamline the royalty rate reduction process for non-energy solid leasable minerals. The proposal will save up to $5 million in regulatory costs over the next decade, helping the U.S. compete globally and supporting American jobs. The Wyoming delegation was successful in including provisions to reduce the soda ash royalty rate in the Department of Interior appropriations bills for 2020.

“Reducing the federal royalty rate will allow America’s soda ash to stay competitive in the global market,” said Enzi. “Wyoming produces more than 90 percent of the nation’s soda ash, and it is the state’s top international export. The BLM’s proposed rule to streamline the rate reduction process is great news for our state.”

“The production of soda ash supports thousands of jobs in Wyoming and across the country in a variety of industries, including mining, shipping and manufacturing,” said Barrasso. “American soda ash producers already have to battle the unfair foreign trade practices of China and other countries. They shouldn’t have to fight higher costs here at home. This proposed rule will pave the way for the administration to reduce the soda ash royalty rate and give American soda ash producers the certainty they need to stay competitive in the global market.”

“Wyoming has the largest deposit of trona in the world and the soda ash it creates is a critical component in products we use every day. Today’s proposed rule to allow for the reduction of the royalty rate to mine trona is a vital step towards ensuring producers in Wyoming remain competitive with Turkey and China, which are dramatically distorting the global market by subsidizing production and creating synthetic soda ash.” said Cheney. “I have worked extensively with the Trump Administration on this proposed rule to ultimately level the playing field for U.S. trona producers, which will allow them to expand their operations and create more jobs in Wyoming. I look forward to our continued work on this important issue for our state as the rule-making process moves forward.”