EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
June 17, 2013
On Thursday, Lauren testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The title: Mining in America: The Administration’s Use of Claim Maintenance Fees and Cleanup of Abandoned Mine Lands. The Members and witnesses discussed a potpourri of topics including: 1872 mining law reform, claim maintenance fees, percentage depletion allowance, abandoned mine lands, Good Samaritan policy, and the recent Grand Canyon mineral withdrawal. Chairman Lamborn (R-CO) began the hearing, "While many of us support reforming the 1872 law, the question of how and what is subject to great debate and is an area where members aren't nearly as far apart as the special interests would make it appear."
May 31, 2013
On May 16, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released another draft of their proposed rule on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on public lands. BLM manages over 700 million acres of the public’s subsurface minerals mostly in the West and Mountain West states. 57 million of them lie below private land. The problem with this new draft rule is that the stuff we didn’t like in their initial draft is still in there. And parts of it got worse. It appears that BLM have made drilling easier without granting any additional environmental protections. Among this latest version’s shortcomings are expedited permit reviews and broader permit variances.