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With profits soaring for hard-rock mining and oil and gas companies doing business on public lands, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is leading the charge to get the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate whether American taxpayers are getting their fair share.
A new ad from the Pew Environment Group taglined “Don’t Undermine the Grand Canyon” calls on President Barack Obama to extend a one-million-acre mining ban around Grand Canyon National Park for the next 20 years.
Two New Mexico Democrats today introduced a bill that would require uranium mining companies to pay a 12.5-percent royalty on federal lands – a move Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado at least favors studying given the growing interest in uranium mining and nuclear power. The Uranium Resources Stewardship Act introduced by U.S. Reps. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján would shift the regulation of uranium mining from the 1872 Mining Law to the Mineral Leasing Act and require royalty payments to federal and state governments similar to those paid by the coal, oil and gas industries.
The proposed purchase of a Canadian uranium mining company with Colorado interests by a Russian government-owned conglomerate has sparked more than just national security concerns. Some critics say the United States is getting fleeced by foreign mining companies extracting minerals from federal lands.