Monday, March 19, 2012

BLM-OSM merger to go forward

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is moving forward with his proposal to merge the Office of Surface Mining with the Bureau of Land Management. A study by his appointees endorsed the idea. There was a lot of concerns and opposition when the proposal was first broached and I have not seen much active support for it. also says "both the report and Salazar favor new fees on hardrock mining operators, the same type now collected from coal mining operations, "so that the BLM can pursue a more vigorous abandoned mine cleanup program." The Obama Administration and environmental groups have long supported levying such a fee on hardrock miners."

BLM administers 12.2 million surface acres of public lands, and another 17.5 million subsurface acres within Arizona.

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