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On May 15th, the US House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee will be voting on the Oak Flat land Exchange, HR 687. This new version, HR 687, is virtually identical to last year’s version of the land exchange (HR 1904). This is the 12th version of the land exchange that Rio Tinto has convinced Arizona members of Congress to introduce on their behalf, and is every bit as bad as HR 1904, which was the worst of the lot.
There are many reasons that this bill is a bad idea and should be voted down in Committee. Please contact your Representative and tell him or her to vote no on HR 687, the Oak Flat land exchange.
The Oak Flat land exchange would:
- The Oak Flat land exchange (HR 687) would be the only bill that would turn over a Native American sacred site on public land to foreign mining companies and is opposed by every Indian Tribe in the United States.
- The Oak Flat land exchange (HR 687) would be the largest loss of public lands recreational climbing opportunities in history and is opposed by the Access Fund and other organizations that care about maintaining recreational opportunities on public land.
- The Oak Flat land exchange (HR 687) bypasses the normal process of permitting mines on public lands, avoids the NEPA process, and would destroy wildlife habitat and clean water resources.
We circulated a sign on letter to accompany new information about opposition to the Oak Flat land exchange from the towns of Superior and Queen Valley. The letter was circulated in Washington, DC before a hearing on the new version of the Oak Flat land exchange, HR 687 on March 21. (HR 687 is virtually identical to HR 1904 from the last congress.
To see a copy of the letter, go here.
We are at the tail end of the 112th Congress and have been able to keep the Oak Flat land exchange from moving in the US Senate. However, Senators Kyl and McCain are intent on pushing through the Oak Flat land exchange (HR 1904) this year to give more government handouts to two of the world’s largest mining companies.
Congress is back after the elections in a lame duck session that should wrap up by the end of the year. Kyl and McCain will most likely attempt to attach HR 1904 to important legislation instead of letting the Senate decide on the merits of the bill. Because of the controversial nature of the Oak Flat land exchange, this would amount to adding a poison pill to any necessary legislation.
Do not let Senators McCain and Kyl divert the Congress from important business by inserting their destructive special interest bill.
Tell the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to say No to S 409
Wednesday, June 17th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing on S. 409, a piece of special interest legislation that would mandate and land exchange that would solely benefit Rio Tinto and BHP-Billiton – two of the largest foreign mining companies in the world. The bill has been introduced by Arizona Senators McCain and Kyl.
The bill would short circuit the usual and customary process all mining companies go through to get mining permits in the US. Instead, the bill would allow the companies to get a free pass from these federal laws and to mine in the most destructive way possible, a copper ore body below Oak Flat Campground.