SURGEON GENERALS WARNING:
Reading and/or responding to this message may be hazardous to your health and blood pressure.
(Just be aware that by ignoring the subject it may very well be hazardous to the health and welfare of future generations.)
I've been doing further mining of the 'Net on this subject and the more I find the more incensed I get. OK, here goes...
This subject has been brought up 5 times in Congress over the last 10 years and it has been voted down every time
. Thankfully the representatives (and senators, an identical bill is also before the Senate: S. 339)
of the OTHER states have been more concerned about the negative effects than ANY of our Arizona reps. And in fact ALL our federal legislators from Arizona continually bring it up and vote for it.
Last September was the most current defeat, in which one representative stated (it's on the Congressional Record):
[This was 9/26/13 when the US was at the brink of the government shutdown]
... here we are today, debating a sweetheart piece of legislation that hurts taxpayers and comforts, yes, foreign multinational mining corporations. We have seen at least five different versions of this legislation over the past 10 years. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, we all might need to spend some time getting our heads examined.
Yet our Federal 'Arizona representatives' insist on doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
. Of course that probably has something to do with the admitted $1 billion Resolution Copper has already spent an getting this deal. Did some/all our reps get some or lots of cash out of this pot??
How can we know, since Resolution Copper bought up a lot of the land they want to exchange through many shell companies that shielded the sellers from the true buyer. Yes, companies with names like "Integrity
Land & Cattle" which bought up land ostensibly for cattle grazing. Yet their true intent was to turn around and swap it for mineral Federal lands. This allowed them to buy the land on the cheap.
But get this, the land will be appraised after the bill is passed
and just watch, the value will happen to a much higher than what they paid. So when they swap the land, the Federal Government (we, the people) will get the shaft... and not a multi-billion $ one like Resolution Copper's 5,000-foot mineshaft.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg...
An annual 40,000 acre-feet of water will be required for the mining, the same amount as the City of Tempe! And so far Resolution Copper has not come up with exactly WHERE this water will come from. They are currently buying 'credits' against future needs from the AZ CAP... water that is currently being taken up in response to the needs during this drought cycle.
We will lose prime hiking/climbing areas for a lot of scrub-land... Over the last 3 years I've actually driven through and/or walked on three of the areas that Resolution Copper will swap for the Oak Flat/Apache Leap area. Frankly there is no comparison, much is useless scrub-land that has been over-grazed and some are devoid of anything other than a sandy dry wash. Not suitable for hiking, and as far as climbing?? Too bad!
I'm not going to get any deeper in this than to say the way the bill is written, a number of Federal laws relating to sacred lands (whether on a reservation or not) will be trampled.
All kinds of figures have been batted around, and the job creation number seems to have risen over the ten years this has been debated. First it was 3,700 jobs, then 4,000, some estimates close to 5,000.
But even at the 3,700 figure, that is for initial engineering jobs not average worker jobs. How many of the 2840 (men-women-children inclusive) folks in Superior are engineers? And once all the initial engineering stuff is done, digging deeper it appears it may be down to 1,500 jobs total, again, not much of the local-Joe type of workers. Don't kid yourself... the folks living in Superior will not see much change to their bottom-line. Check out the Miami-Globe area and tell me why all the homes are falling apart and most of the folks are driving junkers? Copper mining hasn't helped them, the $$ has left the community and gone to the companies.
The bill sponsors keep saying this will bring prosperity to Superior, new grocery stores, fast-food businesses, new housing, etc. Ok, so when they dig such a big hole that it collapses (which this type of mining will do in 20-30 years) and many jobs go away, Superior will be left with empty houses, and degrade to worse shape than Miami is today. When you drive through Miami on the 60, is that a booming community? Hardly!
Again, from the Congressional Record...
Resolution Copper continues to oppose any requirement of filing a mining plan of operation before this legislation is passed. It's been
10 years since this project was proposed--and we still have no mining plan.
All we know about the proposed mine is purely speculative and comes from data and reports produced by Resolution Copper, itself. And the common refrain from supporters to trust without validation--don't worry, it will all work out--those are not the due diligence requirements that this Congress has on a major land exchange as we are facing today.
GIVING AWAY FEDERAL RESOURCES:
Taking into account the value of the resources that will be swapped away for cheaply-acquired land that will be appraised AFTER the swap?? It's downright wrong!
While we here in the Valley and elsewhere in Arizona may not want to get involved in this issue, and frankly, may not even care, by doing nothing and letting this happen in its current form (where Resolution Copper sets most of the terms)... it will be a travesty affecting future generations.
Get involved! Find out why it's wrong! Write not only our Arizona reps but the Congressional reps for all states, as they seem to have a better grasp of the multi-billion dollar giveaway to foreign companies**
, and tell them you aren't one of the Arizona lemmings being led by Gosar/Salmon/Flake/McCain over a cliff. Oh wait... they will step aside and let us go over without them while they get wined and dined by their $$ buddies, Resolution Copper.
Resolution Copper is a Delaware Corporation (no taxes) owned as a joint-venture between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, fully foreign-owned companies.