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Tuesday
Jun252019

Update on uranium mining and the Grand Canyon

Efforts are underway in Congress to push back on the Trump administration's move to classify uranium as a "critical mineral" essential for national security. Here is the statement by Aaron Mintzes, Senior Policy Counsel at Earthwork in response to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources’ hearing on uranium mining and introduction of HR 3405. 

"We strongly support Chairmen Grijalva’s and Lowenthal’s effort to remove uranium from the so-called “critical minerals” list. This bill exposes the Commerce and Interior Departments’ sleight of hand: a misdirection aimed at raising the specter of national security that only thinly veils their desire to give away our most treasured places. Foreign mining companies covet public minerals in areas surrounding the Grand Canyon, Bears Ears, and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. Our current mining law, dating from the 19th century, allows this public wealth giveaway to an industry that leads the nation in toxic pollution.

"Messrs. Grijalva and Lowenthal also champion HR 2579, the Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act, a reform measure that will update the General Mining Law of 1872 by clarifying the people’s power to choose land uses, like National Monuments, over uranium mining. We won the Cold War more than a quarter century ago and our mining law is nearly a century and a half years old. The reform we need is HR 2579 that holds polluters accountable for their messes and protects taxpayers, communities, and our most iconic places."

(Photo: Danny Santiago, WikiCommons)