Our transition to clean energy is critical to fighting climate change and will be powered by minerals.
The problem? Our mining laws remain stuck in the 19th century.
Domestic mining operations are governed by the Hardrock Mining Law of 1872, a Civil War-era statute enacted to settle the West. One hundred and fifty-one years later, the law remains unchanged and provides no protections for the environment, Indigenous sacred sites, or communities. It also gives the mining industry a sweetheart deal at the expense of Indigenous rights, conservation, clean energy, recreation and tourism, drinking water supplies, and other important land uses.
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich along with U.S. Representative Raul M. Grijalva, have introduced the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act to update our mining laws to modern times. Their bill would protect sacred and special places from mining activity, enact strong environmental and public health protections, require mining companies to pay a royalty for minerals extracted on public lands, and mandate that companies clean up their messes when mining activities conclude. We must support this.
Despite this progress, other Senators are trying to make it easier for dirty mining to occur on public lands. They’ve introduced the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act, an unprecedented giveaway of America’s cherished public lands to mining corporations and reversing over one hundred years of public lands precedent. It would tip the scales away from communities, the environment, and our clean energy future by giving the mining industry the power to dictate how we use our public lands. It could be easily weaponized to allow mining companies and private individuals to block solar, wind, or transmission projects based on opaque mineral claims. We need your help to block this.
Tell your Senator and/or Representative to oppose the corporate giveaways in the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act and instead support the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator or Representative’s office.