More than 50 Members, Stakeholders Call on Admin to Scrap Obama Mineral Withdrawals
Washington, May 2, 2018
Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Western Caucus Member Tom Emmer (MN-06), and representatives for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the American Exploration & Mining Association, the National Mining Association, the American Resources Policy Network, the Arizona Mining Association, the Southern Arizona Business Association, the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association as well as Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley released statements after 23 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump and agency heads requesting that they initiate a comprehensive review of all mineral withdrawals implemented by the previous Administration - and scrap any that are shown to be without merit.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Western Caucus Member Tom Emmer (MN-06), and representatives for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the American Exploration & Mining Association, the National Mining Association, the American Resources Policy Network, the Arizona Mining Association, the Southern Arizona Business Association, the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association as well as Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley released the following statements after 23 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump and agency heads requesting that they initiate a comprehensive review of all mineral withdrawals implemented by the previous Administration - and scrap any that are shown to be without merit:
Chairman Paul Gosar stated, "Today, we implore this Administration to take a closer look at several improper mineral withdrawals that were planned behind closed doors and executed in unprecedented haste by the last Administration. These massive mineral estate removals proved devastating to local communities, imperiling good-paying jobs and shattering investor and mining company confidence. The Trump Administration has done an incredible job signalling that it supports responsible job creation and opposes arbitrary or political violations of the rule of law. The next natural step in acting on that agenda is to reverse these withdrawals in the Superior National Forest, Arizona Strip and Southwest Oregon regions - as well as any of the other Obama-era withdrawals the Administration deems unnecessary and harmful. President Trump: Believe it or not, our people still aren't tired of wining. Do this, and you may get Rural America to love you even more than it already does."
Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Bruce Westerman said, “Domestic minerals are critical to both our national security and economic well being. At no point should either be needlessly harmed for partisan gain. My colleagues and I encourage the swift and thorough review of these clearly political domestic mineral withdrawals.”
“With more than one-half of the U.S. mineral estate already off limits or subject to severe restrictions, allowing these withdrawals to remain will only increase our Nation’s reliance on foreign sources of strategic and critical minerals while shipping high paying jobs overseas,” said the American Exploration & Mining Association.
“The negative effects of large-scale withdrawals of federal lands from mineral entry extend far beyond depressing mineral production in the United States. These withdrawals also destroy high-paying jobs, undermine rural economies, and contribute to locking up the vast federal estate. Revoking the withdrawals made by the previous administration is a good first step, which should be followed by a comprehensive review of all the lands that have been withdrawn over many decades,” said, Myron Ebell, Director for the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
“America’s supply chain is at risk thanks, in part, to political decision-making in recent years that had little to do with good stewardship and everything to do with short-term political expediency,” said Hal Quinn, President and CEO of the National Mining Association. “Despite being home to rich mineral deposits, less than half of the mineral needs of U.S. manufacturing are met domestically, leaving key domestic industries vulnerable to foreign sources. While some land withdrawals may be necessary, a comprehensive review of mineral withdrawals executed under the previous administration is merited given the unprecedented frequency and scope of past actions locking up important strategic resources.”
“Northern Arizona’s unique breccia pipe geological formations represent the nation’s largest source of high-grade uranium ore. The current reality is that America’s nuclear power industry imports approximately 92 percent of the uranium it uses from foreign sources. Given domestic availability of this uranium, importing this material defies all reason. America has more than enough uranium within our borders to supply our own needs. Responsible domestic uranium mining followed by reclamation will provide great benefits for our country’s electric power needs, local economies and the environment. America’s nuclear power plants are clean and release no carbon emissions, making these deposits in northern Arizona an almost perfect remedy for our electricity-dependent nation,” stated Steve Trussell, Executive Director of the Arizona Mining Association.
"If we do not repair the damages done by erroneous blockading of mineral utilization, this country will continue to allow itself to be subject to increased threats to our strategic position. Further, failing to overturn political mineral withdrawals by the previous administration will block tens of thousands of jobs and cause significant harm to our economy," said Doyel Shamley, Apache County Supervisor.
“In this day and age, and due to our standing in the eyes of the world, it is ridiculous that we should be dependent on so many important minerals and subject to the whim of foreign countries when we can develop most of these resources right here in America. Accordingly, the Trump Administration should act to scrap political mineral withdrawals by the Obama Administration,” said Larry Parker, President of the Yavapai Cattle Growers Association.
Today, May 2, 2018, the Western Caucus led 23 Members of Congress in sending a letter addressed to President Trump, Secretaries Zinke and Perdue and U.S. Forest Service Acting Secretary Christiansen respectfully requesting that they initiate a comprehensive review of all mineral withdrawals implemented by the previous Administration, and that they reverse any withdrawals determined to be without merit or to have been initiated in order to block specific development.
It's the long-stated position of the Trump Administration, on the other hand, that the United States must embark on a policy of securing the domestic production of critical and strategic minerals with sensitive supply chains in order to ward off foreign influence and control over our nation's physical and economic security.