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Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Resources Committee, reintroduced mining reform legislation in the House of Representatives on January 27, 2009. The Congressman has obviously been away from real work for far too long. H.R. 699, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2009, should be labeled H.R. 666 because it appears to have been written by the Devil himself. If it passes as written, it will completely destroy an entire industry.
Casual use would be redefined to allow only those activities that do not cause “any disturbance of public lands and resources.” The collection of samples, use of gold pans and non-motorized sluices would be the only activities allowed without a Notice or Plan. Taking a vehicle off-road would also require a Notice or Plan. Any extraction of minerals for sale or use would require a Notice or Plan.
H.R. 699 would be retroactive. Existing mining that is not already operating under a Notice of Plan would require proof of a valuable discovery to retain a mining claim, and those operating under a Notice or Plan would have ten years to bring their operation under compliance with the new regulations.
The federal government would be entitled to an 8 percent gross royalty for all locatable minerals for any new mining operation. Even if the miner is unable to make a reasonable profit at current commodity prices, he would have to give 8 percent to the federal government. Existing operations at the time the bill is passed would be subject to a 4 percent gross royalty, and any federal lands added to the operation after enactment of the bill would be subject to the 8 percent royalty.
The bill would give the Secretary the authority to deny any operation that may cause undue degradation.
The bill would provide environmental lawyers an unending source of income. Any citizen would be allowed to file a civil lawsuit against the miner or the federal government to force compliance with the mining laws after giving sixty days written notice. The court would be allowed to award the costs of litigation, including attorney and witness fees, as the court deems appropriate.
Any miner who fails to comply with any portion of a permit would be subjected to a fine of $25,000 per day.
Any person who engages in mineral activities without the required permit, if convicted, would be punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 per day or by imprisonment for up to 3 years or both.
Designated employees of the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture would be given full law enforcement powers over permitted miners, including the power to subpoena miners to force attendance, testimony, and disclosure of all paperwork, and warrantless searches of vehicles and buildings expected to contain locatable minerals or products derived from them would be allowed.
The Secretary would be forced to prevent mineral activities that could have an adverse impact on the resources and values of National Conservation System Units.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Jim Costa (D-CA), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Pete Stark (D-CA), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Lois Capps (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA), John Salazar (D-CO), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
Contact information for each of the bill sponsors:
Nick Rahall (D-WV) phone 202 225-3452
George Miller (D-CA) phone 202 225-2095
Henry Waxman (D-CA) phone 202 225-3976
Ed Markey (D-MA) phone 202 225-2836
Howard Berman (D-CA) phone 202 225-4695
Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) phone 202 225-2435
Rush Holt (D-NJ) phone 202 225-5801
Jim Costa (D-CA) phone 202 225-3341
Donna Christensen (D-VI) phone 202 225-1790
Dale Kildee (D-MI) phone 202 225-3611
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) phone 202 225-6335
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) phone 202 225-4811
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) phone 202 225-4911
Ron Kind (D-WI) phone 202 225-5506
Lois Capps (D-CA) phone 202 225-3601
Adam Schiff (D-CA) phone 202 225-4176
Mike Honda (D-CA) phone 202 225-2631
John Salazar (D-CO) phone 202 225-4761
Anna Eshoo (D-CA) phone 202 225-8104
Niki Tsongas (D-MA) phone 202 225-3411
Gerry Connolly (D-VA) phone 202 225-1492
Originally posted by questioningall
H.R. 699 would be retroactive. Existing mining that is not already operating under a Notice of Plan would require proof of a valuable discovery to retain a mining claim
Originally posted by accuroman
I am not surprized.
Lately it almost looks like they are deliberately doing things to hurt peoples way of life.
What a bunch of scumbags.
reply to post by marg6043
Also in the chart presented shows that America had the biggest coal resources in the world? followed by Russia and China.