Don’t let congress silence public review of mining
In northwest Montana, the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness — a 35-mile wide stretch of pristine land that provides refuge to a precariously small population of threatened grizzly bears and supplies some of the purest water in the nation — is facing permanent harm by two proposed mines.
The mining lobby and its friends in Congress would see these public lands, and others like it, changed forever by providing mining companies with a quick and dirty rubber stamp…allowing them to bypass environmental review and community input. And they’re being sneaky about it.
Take Action Now: Urge your Representatives to oppose the “critical minerals” amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Congress wants to use the National Defense Authorization Act, which is designed to fund our military, to sneak through new rules to silence the public’s concerns about irresponsible mining of our public lands.
This so-called “critical minerals” amendment allows mining corporations to bypass environmental review and silence community input. It’s the wrong way to regulate mining in our country and the wrong way to pass mining legislation.
The House majority has introduced a wolf in sheeps clothing. Deceptively titled “strategic and critical minerals” the bill would actually help gold mining companies and others who are, frankly, just making earrings.
HR 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, would require less public review and environmental protection for all hardrock mines proposed anywhere in this country! This bill takes an already privileged industry and gives them even more, while harming rural communities and putting clean water at risk.
It limits community consent, shuts the courthouse door to citizens seeking legal remedies, and broadly grants favor to mining companies for anything dug out of the ground – from gold to frac sand – while poisoning our air and water.
In the name of promoting “critical” mineral development in the United States, HR 761 could muffle or silence community and environmental concerns when new mines are proposed.
So-called strategic or critical minerals, like rare earths, are used in the manufacture of items we use every day, like mobile phones.
According to the Department of Energy, what’s holding back “critical” minerals development is not community or environmental concerns about mining.
But HR 761, in the name of critical minerals, could effectively silence the voices of mining impacted communities anyway. Worse yet, the definition of “critical minerals” could be so broad that traditional hardrock minerals like copper and gold could be considered for fast tracking in the permit process.