House Committee Passes HR 520: National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2017

Statement from Earthworks' Senior Policy Counsel Aaron Mintzes

“Today, the House Natural Resources Committee voted to support corporate interests over public interests. HR 520 masquerades as a bill about critical and strategic minerals, but it instead threatens our waters and disenfranchises our communities.

Our bedrock environmental laws exist to protect our water, air and public health and allow communities to have a say in projects that may impact them. HR 520 takes us in the wrong direction. We need to change U.S. mining policy, but not to loosen oversight. We need accountability. Communities across the country are living with pollution from mining accidents, and taxpayers — not the polluters — are often paying for cleanup. Comprehensive reform of the ridiculously out-of-date 1872 General Mining Law is the long-term solution to this problem.”