Lawmaker Wants Hearing On GM Mining Contract

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana congressman wants a hearing into General Motors Co.'s continued use of foreign precious metals suppliers after canceling a contract with a Montana company.

GM last week dropped Stillwater Mining Co. of Columbus as a supplier, saying that as it makes fewer cars it needs less precious metal. The automaker is keeping contracts with lower-cost suppliers in South Africa, Russia and Pennsylvania.

Platinum and related metals are used in catalytic converters to control vehicle pollution.

U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican, wants the House Natural Resources Committee to look into GM's actions. He says that as a taxpayer-backed company, GM should give preference to a domestic supplier like Stillwater.

A spokeswoman for committee chairman Nick Rahall said the West Virginia Democrat would consider Rehberg's request.

GM last week rejected demands from Montana's two Democratic U.S. senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, to restore the Stillwater contract.

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