Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Udall and Grijalva seek to rekindle mining reform efforts
Two Democratic lawmakers are hoping public concerns over the economy and the looming "fiscal cliff" will reinvigorate a movement on Capitol Hill to reform the General Mining Act of 1872, which exempted mining companies from paying royalties for profiting from U.S. public lands. They want miners to pay the same 12.5 percent in royalties as oil companies, a move that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new annual revenue. The 1872 law "was designed to perpetuate the `go west, young man' idea to bring people, commerce and industry to the West. But that's done, it's the new West now," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., who along with Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, requested the GAO study. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada - home to most of the country's gold mining - has been outspoken against past approaches to reform. However, his office said he remains open-minded on the royalty issue. The mining association's Raulston said the industry is not opposed to royalties in theory but believes charging a rate comparable to oil, coal and natural gas is unfair. "Metals are not immediately sellable products - there are processes and refining needed to get out the impurities," she said. "So, there are added costs in metals mining that you don't see in other natural resources like timber, gas and coal."...more