US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator for New Mexico Martin Heinrich
Heinrich, Grijalva legislation would modernize the nation’s severely antiquated hardrock mining law
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
WASHINGTON – Today, on the 150th anniversary of President Ulysses S. Grant signing the General Mining Act of 1872 into law, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) held a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol calling for the modernization of this antiquated mining law.
Grijalva, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced their House and Senate mining reform bills, both titled the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act, on April 26, 2022. At the press conference, lawmakers along with organizations supportive of the legislation discussed their legislation and the importance of reforming the nation’s 150-year-old mining law, especially given the increasing demand for critical minerals necessary for a clean energy transition.
WATCH: Press Conference on Mining Reform, May 10, 2022
“It’s time that we had a 21st century approach to mining in this country. Especially at a moment when we’re seeing increased efforts to create more domestic supply for many of these minerals, now is the right time to reform the oversight and statutory process under which we mine on our public lands,” said Heinrich.
“The transition to a clean energy future will inevitably involve mining, there’s no question, but that doesn’t mean we should risk permanent damage to our sacred places, our wilderness, and our health. I don’t believe we can build a 21st century clean energy economy using a 19th century law. … That’s why I think it’s important as ever to put the [Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act] into law,” said Grijalva.
“[The Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act] will help us fix the broken mining system on our public lands and it will also help us build a more sustainable, clean energy supply chain. … [Domestic mining] must be done in a way that meets the highest environmental standards, provides a fair return to American taxpayers, and—let me say clearly and loudly—respects tribal sovereignty,” said U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif).
More information about Heinrich’s Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act is available hereand a fact sheet on the bill is available here. More information about Grijalva’s Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act is available here and a fact sheet on the bill is available here.