County Commish to Back Mining Reform in Testimony on the Hill

Publication: The Colorado Independent

Author: David O. Williams

02/25/2009 - Gunnison County Commissioner Jim Starr will be among the witnesses testifying Thursday before a House subcommittee debating a bill that would  reform the 1872 Mining Law enacted during the Ulysses S. Grant administration, which to date has not issued a statement opposing the move.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will tackle H.R. 699, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2009, which, among other things, would require royalty payments from mining companies extracting gold, uranium and other hard-rock minerals from federally owned public lands in the West. Incredibly, they’d been charged nothing since 1872.


According to the Pew Environmental Trust (Pew Environment Group), citing stats from the Congressional Budget Office, more than $1 billion in “non-coal metals” are mined from public lands ever year without any royalty payments to federal or state governments. The coal, oil and gas industries, by contrast, pay significant royalties, and many people would like to see those raised.


Read the full article County Commish to Back Mining Reform in Testimony on the Hill on The Colorado Independent's Web site.

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