Gosar, Kirkpatrick, Schweikert, Franks, Salmon all agree on AZ Land Exchange

| February 15 2013

Reps. Paul Gosar and Kirkpatrick Introduce the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act  
Will create over 3,700 local jobs 

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S (AZ-4) and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1) introduced the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, H.R. 687. This legislation authorizes a land exchange that will protect environmentally sensitive lands while opening up the largest copper mine in North America. Arizona House Members Matt Salmon (AZ-5), David Schweikert (AZ-6), and Trent Franks (AZ-8) all supported the legislation as original co-sponsors.

Congressman Paul Gosar stated, “this bill is a win-win for Arizona and for our nation – it will create over 3,700 high-paying jobs, increase U.S. energy and mineral independence, and preserve some of rural Arizona’s most beautiful natural lands. Even though this common sense proposal has overwhelming bipartisan support across our state, it has been held up for years by trivial political bickering in Washington.  Those needless delays have cost hundreds of rural Arizonans their jobs. This Congress, the gridlock must end.  Congresswoman Kirkpatrick and I will build on last year’s successes in the House, work closely with Senators Flake and McCain in the Senate, and finally get this land exchange across the finish line.”

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick stated, “My vision for Arizona is a diversified and stable economy. The Superior mine fits into that vision and is critical to the communities and constituents in my district – it will provide jobs, economic development and a stronger foundation for their future. This project has faced opposition from tribal and environmental groups over the years, and I believe their voices should be heard during this process. I am committed to using the legislative process to advance this project and represent outstanding concerns, and I look forward to working with Congressman Gosar and the Arizona delegation to ensure the Superior Mine finally moves forward. Let’s get this done, for the good of these communities and for Arizona.”

The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act authorizes a land exchange that will open up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world, located near Superior, Arizona.  In exchange, over 5,000 acres of high-value Arizona conservation lands – encompassing endangered species, sensitive ecosystems, recreational sites, and historic landmarks – will be protected.

According to a recently conducted economic analysis, the resulting central Arizona copper mine will create nearly 3,700 jobs equating to $220.5 million in annual wages.  The total economic impact of the project is estimated to be over $61.4 billion, over $1 billion per year over the life of the mine.

In the 112th Congress, Congressman Paul Gosar navigated the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act to House-passage.  The  was the first time the initiative was passed by either house of Congress in its eight-year history.  The U.S. Senate held a hearing on the Gosar bill last February, but failed to pass it before adjournment.

 

Also, from the Senate side . . .

ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS MOVE TO REVIVE RESOLUTION COPPER MINE

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (February 14, 2013) – U.S. Senators John McCain (R–AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced a crucial piece of legislation aimed at providing rural Arizona with a sorely-needed birthday present. The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013, sponsored by Senators McCain & Flake, will facilitate a federal land exchange to develop the Resolution Copper Mine while protecting environmentally sensitive lands inArizona.

Congressmen Paul Gosar (R-CD 4) and Anne Kirkpatrick (D-CD 1) have cosponsored companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives which will mirror the language of Senate bill. According to the provisions of both bills, the Resolution Copper company will give the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management about 5,500 acres of land identified by the Department of the Interior as “important” for conservation.

These lands will include property near the San Pedro River, an important migratory bird corridor and wetland habitat for endangered species. In return, Resolution Copper will receive approximately 2,400 acres of Forest Service land for the exploration and development of the purest and most substantial copper deposit in the entire nation.

Representative Frank Pratt (R-Dist. 8) expressed his gratitude for the legislation stating, “The work that Senators McCain and Flake have undertaken on behalf of this indispensible project will sustain the fragile economy of rural Arizona for decades to come. I am proud of what they have done for the people of my district and for the entire state of Arizona.”

Once in operation, the mine is expected to generate over $64 billion in economic activity and tax revenue as well as supply as much as 20 percent of the nation’s domestic copper demand.

Delighted with the positive economic impact the legislation will have, Representative T.J. Shope stated, “The future survival of communities like Superior are heavily dependent on the health and vitality of our mining industries. With the implementation of this legislation, the people of my district will be able to maintainArizona’s place as the nation’s undisputed leader in copper production.”

1 comments
Dave
Dave

This bill would privatize a federally-protected recreation area set aside by President Eisenhower in 1955. Ike intended his law to protect Oak Flat, Arizona for perpetuity against mining. Now the AZ politicians are trying to undermine the protection in place under the guise of a land exchange. The exchange would short-change US taxpayers who currently own Oak Flat by trading comparatively worthless lands for a recognized, protected gem in the Sonoran Desert.

 

Here's a new short film about this issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiME3XWEPjU&feature=youtu.be