Earthworks

Improving the Competitiveness of America’s Mining Industry

Improving the Competitiveness of America’s Mining Industry

EARTHWORKS testimony before the House Energy and Minerals subcommittee oversight hearing

Published: April 28, 2005

By: Lauren Pagel

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The rhetoric of much of the hardrock mining industry does not match reality. Under the 1872 Mining Law, the hardrock mining industry has more access to public lands than any other extractive industry, and less regulation. Claims provide the industry with this access, and the mining law contains no operating standards or environmental provisions to regulate mining operations. Mining companies are given preferential treatment when they mine public land under the 1872 Mining Law - trumping other uses of the land like hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and conservation, and even other commercial uses such as logging and oil drilling.

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