Mining and oil production are hot issues in two Congressional races underway in southern Arizona.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that incumbent Raul Grijalva is the only candidate in the race in Congressional District 3 who opposes the Rosemont copper mine, south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains. The news story summarizes his position as "Jobs are part of the Rosemont discussion, but so are environmental concerns, including water and air quality. There would be a high cleanup cost to taxpayers when the mine closes." His two opponents for the Democratic nomination, Amanda Aguirre and Manny Arreguin point to the jobs that will be created and the new technology that Rosemont plans to use to mitigate environmental impacts.
Republicans Gabriela Saucedo Mercer and Jaime Vasquez have come out in favor of the mine for its economic benefits. [Right, location of proposed Rosemont copper mine, and nearby existing copper mines. Credit, Rosemont Copper]
Meanwhile, in Congressional District 8 to replace Gabby Giffords, Republican Jesse Kelly claimed during the Republican primary that the U.S. has "significantly more oil than Saudi Arabia" apparently referring to oil shale, which prompted one of the other GOP candidates to challenge that as unrealistic and urging him to get a degree in geology. [Frankly, I would urge all candidates in all races to take at least one class in geology to better understand natural resources - mineral, energy, and water - and natural hazards and environmental issues, but I digress].
The political insider newspaper, The Hill, summarized the energy issues in that race, saying
"Kelly supports increased domestic energy production from a range of sources — including coal, oil and natural gas — and has focused intensely on energy during his campaign. He opposes special subsidies to encourage renewable energy sources, arguing that solar companies shouldn't get any breaks that oil and coal companies don't get. [Democrat Ron] Barber also supports more domestic production and opposes higher taxes on energy. He has said tax breaks should be discontinued for oil companies, but that solar and other renewable energy sources should be incentivized."