Report: Time for Hard-Rock Mining Companies to Pay Up

Publication: Salt Lake Tribune

Author: Thomas Burr

01/27/2009 - A 137-year-old exemption that allows companies to extract hard-rock minerals from public lands without paying royalties could cost the nation $1.6 billion during the next decade, says a new report by the Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining.

To reverse that exemption, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., introduced legislation Tuesday that would treat the mineral-extraction companies the same as coal, oil and gas industries, which pay a percentage royalty for using public lands.

"Given our current economic crisis and the empty state of our national treasury, it is ludicrous to be allowing this outmoded law to continue to exempt these lucrative mining activities from paying a fair return to the American people," Rahall said in a statement.

Read the full article Report: Time for Hard-Rock Mining Companies to Pay Up on the Salt Lake Tribune's Web site.

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