Arizona Lawmakers Debate Updating 1872 Mining Laws To Include Environmental Protections

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 1:05pm
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A mining law created in 1872 was the focus of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Thursday morning. Congressman Raul Grijalva, chair of the committee, has introduced a bill that would overhaul that century-old law and the way hardrock mining is conducted.

Proponents of changing the law say it currently has no environmental protection for fragile lands, and communities bear the burden of paying for mining accidents.

The opposition to the change argues a new law isn’t necessary and that it will impede the extraction of mineral resources, which help power local economies. They’re also worried that mining companies will be scared off from starting new projects. That’s a view held by ranking member Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar.

On the other hand, Edward D. Manuel, chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation said that without reform, the tribe doesn't have a seat at the table when companies decide how to use what is rightfully theirs.

Rep. Raul Grijalva joined The Show to talk more about this.

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