U.S. mining oversight should hold polluters accountable

Statement of Earthworks' Senior Policy Counsel Aaron Mintzes re Senate Hearing on "Critical Minerals"

“Skyrocketing minerals demand from the renewable energy economy presents the opportunity for clean energy companies to demand clean mining and clean alternative mineral sources. Unfortunately, S.1317 misses that opportunity and instead would allow the nation’s #1 toxic polluter to become even dirtier. This bill disenfranchises our communities. It would strip protections for our water, air and public health, by depriving communities of their say in projects that may impact them.

We do need to change U.S. mining policy. But not to loosen oversight. We need accountability. Communities across the country are living with pollution from irresponsible mining, and taxpayers — not the polluters — too often pay for cleanup. Last week, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raul Grijalva and New Mexico Senator Tom Udall introduced bills to reform the 1872 Mining Law. This is the type of reform our country needs–and it is long overdue.”


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