Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grand Canyon mining furor

The Energy Report website says, "Top Democrat appropriator Norm Dicks thinks his party has a “decent shot” to vote down an Interior-EPA spending bill rider that would prevent the Obama administration from blocking new uranium mining on public lands surrounding the Grand Canyon." The rider was introduced by Rep. Jeff Flake.

Meanwhile, in an opinion piece ("
GOP lawmakers have Canyon under siege") yesterday in the Arizona Republic, Congressman Raul Grijalva raised the specter of mining taking place in the Canyon itself, saying "Arizona doesn't want to open the Grand Canyon for mining, drilling or any other kind of disruption. The Canyon isn't just a pile of rocks or a vein of minerals waiting to be turned into cash."

The million acres of federal lands under debate are actually BLM and Forest Service lands [
right, credit, BLM] outside the national park boundaries, but there is widespread public perception that mining is proposed inside the park and inside Grand Canyon.

update 8pm:
Keiran Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, warns in an op-ed posted this evening, that if the House Appropriations rider passes, "The place that millions consider a national treasure could become a radioactive industrial zone."

Mother Jones magazine says "uranium mining in the region raises concerns not just about damage to an iconic national park, but risks to water resources and health in the region, too." ["
House GOP: Grand Canyon Should Be a Uranium Mine"]

note: for some unexplained reason, the last half of this post was not showing up when it was posted online. The only way I can get it to appear is to disable the live links to the sources. First time I've had this happen.


  1. Grijalva's comments are just part of the lies that the anti mining groups have been using to create controversy. Another is the explosion of mining claims. Currently about 8500? Claims peaked at over 27,000 after the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984 was passed by Congress and the lands designated for uranium mining were set.

    The number of current claims does not seem like much of an emergency to me. The anti-uranium groups made hay with it though.

  2. Beaux Talks5:08 PM

    I just read Grijalva's comments and almost gagged twice. The first time was when he was complaining about the Republican ideology. If the idealogy he supports - to stop mining and oil and gas drilling and production in the U.S. - didn't have such serious consequences it would be laughable.

    The second time was when he said "Arizona doesn't want to open the Grand Canyon to mining..." The lands that Salazar recently closed are not in the Grand Canyon. They are lands administered by the Kaibab Forest and BLM that adjoin Grand Canyon National Park on the north. Get out a map and see where these lands are. He's obviously trying to scare those who don't know the facts or who are opposed to mining and nuclear energy production.

    Grand Canyon under siege? Baloney!

    Grijalve is also doing his best to stop the Rosemont mine near Tucson. In addition, last year he encouraged Arizona residents to boycott their own state because of SB 1070. What an amazing performance by one of Arizona's own U.S. House of Representatives members.

  3. michaelj8:59 AM

    When are we going to remove this guy (grijalve)
    from office? He is an embarrassment and intentionally deceptive to get his goals through.
    I also want to gag, i have met him once at a hearing that pertained to asarco. Never met a more bias,vile man. I guess he really represents his preferred constituents but the rest are just not represented or besmirched.
    Just my opinion.

  4. The grand canyon is big....

    and the ore importation is bigger...

  5. It’s just not always that you just run into such a well written article. Thanks. Its wonderfully put Great fan of this site, a number of your blogposts have seriously helped me out. Awaiting news!

  6. Been there twice. And im always excited visiting the place.

  7. Some really interesting yet unrelated comments on this post!