Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Letter of the Week: 1872 Mining Law

Dear Senator,

The 1872 Mining Law needs to be changed. It consistently favors the interests of large, often foreign companies over the interests of local Arizona landowners. It subsidizes the give-away of over $1 billion in publicly-owned minerals every year.

My family and I are directly affected by dust blowing off the numerous open-pit mines in Pima county, and what really irks me is the thought that my tax dollars are funding this irresponsible exploitation of our God-given natural heritage.

This land is held in trust by our government so that everyone can use it, but when these companies come in with their mines they just use it up. Although we often hear that these mines are creating jobs in our local communities, the reality is that these corporations will leave us high and dry when the minerals run out.

We need an updated mining law that considers the valid interests of local landowners as well as the interests of economic development. I plan to watch your action on this issue as a kind of litmus test for who you really support; is it the local landowners trying to make a living in Arizona or is it the big corporate interests at their government-sponsored pig trough?

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