Title I of S. 1317 would authorize the appropriation of $50 million annually over the 2020-2029 period for the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Labor to implement several new programs related to classifying, extracting, and using mineral resources in the United States. Title I also would authorize the appropriation of $5 million annually over the 2020-2029 period for DOI to implement the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program. In 2019, DOI allocated $1.3 million to that program.
Title II of the bill would authorize the appropriation of $23 million annually over the 2020-2027 period for DOE to develop advanced technologies to extract rare-earth elements and minerals from coal and coal byproducts. In 2019, DOE allocated $18 million for such activities. The bill also would direct DOE to report to the Congress on the development of such technologies.
Based on historical spending patterns for similar activities, and assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1317 would cost $303 million over the 2019-2024 period. The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).
On July 24, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 1052, the Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technologies Act, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on July 16, 2019. Title II of S. 1317 is similar to S. 1052 and CBO’s estimated costs of those provisions are the same.