August 4, 2017 - Protecting American Mining Jobs
Overturning President Obama's Political EPA Regulations
Why is this a problem?
• In January 2017, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a regulation that would usurp states’ regulatory authority and needlessly duplicate state and federal requirements for the hardrock mining and mineral processing industry.
• High costs of compliance with the rule will put a damper on domestic mineral production while leading to an increase in American reliance on foreign metals and minerals. The result of this rule will be felt far and wide as the domestic manufacturing, energy, and national security sectors are put at a major disadvantage and local economies lose out on high-paying jobs.
How can we solve this problem?
• This proposed rule must be rejected in order to protect our economy, ensure global competitiveness of resource extraction companies, deliver affordable American energy, and provide good-paying jobs.
• Earlier this year, I led a letter to the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies asking to protect the mining industry and job creators by prohibiting federal funding from being used to implement the proposed rule. The Committee honored my request and my proposed language was included in Section 433 of the Subcommittee’s Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations bill. It is my hope that Congress will pass this bill into law later this year.
• This week, I also co-led a letter with fellow Western Caucus Members to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt calling on the EPA to scrap the Obama-era rule.
What are they saying?
“Imposing billions of dollars in new financial costs on job creators in rural communities just to enact redundant, top-down Washington mandates defies common sense. The CERCLA rule represents a solution in search of a problem. While this nonsensical regulation provides no tangible environmental benefit, the mining jobs it will kill in an already over-regulated industry will be all too real and impossible to get back. That’s why I was happy to team up with your impressive Representative Andy Biggs to lead 40 other members of Congress in calling on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to roll back these duplicative requirements for the hardrock mining industry. I thank Congressman Biggs for his continued attention to this and other glaring examples of regulatory overreach that would cause significant harm to hard-working Arizonans, and look forward to future Freedom Fridays.” - Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar
“To conclude that today’s mining industry presents the level of risk that justifies an expansive, costly and duplicative regulation, EPA had to ignore modern mining practices, existing state and federal environmental, reclamation and financial assurance requirements, and a sensible reading of the law.” - National Mining Association
“The State of Arizona has a strong financial assurance program in place for hard rock mining to ensure taxpayers are never left holding the bill to clean up mine sites. CERCLA's redundant federal-level bonding requirements would have a chilling impact on an industry that provides over 12,000 direct jobs in Arizona."- Arizona Mining Association
“Freeport-McMoRan believes the proposed CERCLA § 108(b) rules would cause serious harm to the mining industry, jobs, and the availability of key commodities. If adopted, the proposed rules will result in significant contraction of the domestic hard rock (e.g., copper, gold and silver) mining industry and impede future growth. Expert economic modeling, prepared with data from large mining companies that would be regulated by the proposed rules, indicates that the proposed rules would eliminate some 10,000 well-paid mining jobs and reduce economic activity in just eight mining states by $1.3 billion to $3.85 billion annually. Those jobs are likely to be concentrated in certain areas, hurting entire communities. The proposed rules should be withdrawn, and existing federal and state environmental programs should continue to regulate hard rock mining.” - Freeport-McMoRan
“The Arizona Rock Products Association supports a "no action" position on the CERCLA 108 (B) Rule. Our members do not support the new rule that, as proposed, will duplicate existing financial assurance requirements by state and federal land management agencies. The rule is not needed, is onerous and will have a substantial negative impact on Arizona's hard rock mining industry but does nothing to further protect the environment. ARPA stands side-by-side with Arizona state agencies such as the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, State Land and the State Mine Inspector’s Office and our industry counterparts in opposition of the proposed Rule.” - Arizona Rock Products Association