Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hearing cancelled on anti-mining bill
Last week's scheduled hearing by the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on HR2944 was cancelled and no new date has been set. The bill, Southern Arizona Public Lands Protection Act of 2009, was intended to prevent the Rosemont copper mine from being developed in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, by withdrawing all public lands in two counties from mineral entry.
But the bill also would ban exploration and development of geothermal energy, a renewable energy source pushed by the White House. Even more problematic was the USFS' determination that the bill would actually prevent any use of public lands in Pima and Santa Cruz counties, effectively shutting down the national forests to hiking, camping, fishing, etc. It's possible that all entry to Saguaro National Park would also be prohibited by the current language.
It wouldn't surprise me if the hearing was cancelled while the sponsors rework the bill's language.
at 1:37 PM