Unsurprisingly, the U.S. government’s war on mining continues. Obama has banned new hard rock mining on a million plus acres in Arizona. The land is rich in high-grade uranium ore reserves and accounts for about 40% of the nation’s known uranium resources.
I guess Obama only allows mining for uranium in Iran.
Mining would have meant jobs for Arizona, hundreds of them. It’s another victory for extremists in the environmental movement who want to return the earth to the pre-Industrial Revolution era.
The land is near the Grand Canyon, but only “near,” which is apparently enough to use that as one excuse for the ban. Senator John McCain said the ban was “fueled by an emotional public relations campaign pitting the public’s love for the Grand Canyon against a modern form of low-impact mining that occurs many miles from the canyon walls.”
Another trumped up excuse was the fact that it was land sacred to the Native Americans. If they feel that way, they should give them back the park land they stole from them to use as a public tourist attraction.
Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, told the supportive National Geographic Society that he was “at peace” with the decision. I think Ken should go live in a cave.
Uranium is used in nuclear power plants, which supply about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity.
GOP lawmakers lambasted the ban, calling it an overreach that jeopardizes jobs for no proven reason. At least one study showed that even a severe mining accident would increase uranium levels in the Colorado River by an amount undetectable over levels normally carried by the river from erosion of geologic deposits.
“It is unconscionable that the administration has yet again caved to political pressure from radical special interest groups rather than standing up for the American people,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. “Banning access to the most uranium-rich land in the United States will be overwhelmingly detrimental to both jobs in Utah and Arizona and our nation’s domestic energy security.”
The ban will reduce overall uranium production by about 6 percent of current U.S. demand. State, local and federal governments will lose an estimated $16.6 million in annual tax revenue, and 465 prospective jobs. Read Associated Pravda’s version here.