Statement of Stephen D'Esposito, EARTHWORKS President, on 1872 Mining Law Reform Hearings

July 26, 2007

7/26/07 - "Today the U.S. Congress takes an important step towards reforming one of the last remaining public-resource giveaways.

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals hearing on HR 2262, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007, addresses the need to update a law that is long past due for reform -- the 1872 Mining Law.

Although the law was passed before women could vote and long before the advent of national environmental laws, the 1872 Mining Law still governs mining for precious minerals -- such as gold, copper and uranium -- on public lands.

Reform is needed to ensure that any mining on public lands takes place in a manner that protects crucial drinking water supplies and other natural resources, special places, taxpayers, fish and wildlife habitat, and the health and well being of our communities.

I'd like to thank Chairmen Rahall and Costa for their commitment to this issue and their efforts to make the 135th birthday of the 1872 Mining Law it's last."

For more information:

For more information about the 1872 Mining Law and the effort to reform it, please contact Lauren Pagel, Policy Director, EARTHWORKS at 202-887-1872 x 207. Or visit

Tagged with: congress, 1872 mining law

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