Western Caucus Members React to Dangerous Arizona Mining Ban
DC, February 22, 2021 | Elizabeth Daniels (202-225-5816)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Western Caucus Members released the following statements in response to provisions of H.R. 803, the federal land grab package that will be brought to the floor this week. The package includes the text of the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) to eliminate mining opportunities on over 1 million acres of land surrounding the Grand Canyon. Despite the drastic impacts this will have on the state of Arizona and American national security, Democrat leadership plans to pass the legislation and ignore input from local communities.
“It is disheartening that Chairman Grijalva would reintroduce his anti-mining legislation amidst the Biden Administration’s attack on American energy,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-WA). “By prohibiting the safe and effective mining of uranium and other critical minerals in Arizona, he is ensuring that America becomes even more dependent on foreign regimes like Russia and Kazahkstan. The Western Caucus opposes federal land grabs that ignore the priorities of local communities, and we will continue to focus on promoting safe, responsible, domestic mineral development – particularly as American workers lose their jobs due to the Biden Ban.”
“Chairman Grijalva’s Grand Canyon withdrawal legislation is a threat to American national security, good high paying American jobs and nothing more than an active effort to make America more dependent on Russian uranium,” said Chairman Emeritus Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ). “Recent energy disasters in California and Texas have shown the critical importance of nuclear energy as a primary baseload for our electric grid. By closing up America’s premier uranium resources Chairman Grijalva would make our national energy security subject to the whim of Dictator Putin. We should reject these withdrawals, support American jobs and secure America’s future.”
“Mining is a cornerstone of Arizona’s history and western tradition,” said Vice Chair Andy Biggs (R-AZ). “Prohibiting uranium mining in Arizona hinders our economic freedom and ability to utilize U.S. sourced components for national security capabilities. I stand with Chairman Newhouse, the northern Arizona community, and my colleagues from the Western Caucus in opposing this legislation.”
“Decreasing our reliance on foreign nations for critical minerals is an important part of ensuring our national security,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ). “The Grand Canyon region is home to uranium which is essential to many industries. We should not limit our domestic production of this important resource.”