October 25, 2011
Tomorrow, the House will vote on H.R. 1904
, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, which authorizes a fair value land exchange that would open up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world. The bill will create thousands of jobs, generate billions in revenue and strengthen our national security by developing our own U.S. copper resources.
This bill requires an equal exchange to ensure fair treatment for taxpayers and the government. The bill further requires that the cost of the land exchange be fully paid for by the mine developer. With these protections in the bill, CBO concludes that the cost of the bill is effectively zero; as any cost, for management of newly acquired environmentally and culturally sensitive lands, is so low it can’t be accurately measured.
Creating American Jobs
- The mining project resulting from the land exchange will support nearly 3,700 American jobs, equating to more than $220 million in annual wages.
Strengthening the Economy
- According to a recent economic study, the total economic impact of the mine is estimated to be over $61.4 billion, nearly $1 billion annually.
- The project is also estimated to generate total federal, state, county and local tax revenue of nearly $20 billion.
Producing American Copper
- This project could produce enough copper to meet 25% of current U.S. demand.
- Copper is a critical metal used in a wide variety of products including renewable energy technologies, electronics, transportation and machinery. The Department of Defense indicates that copper ranks second among materials (behind aluminum) in defense industrial applications.
- According to a 2011 United States Geological Survey Report, the United States imports over 30% of our copper. Meanwhile, domestic production of copper decreased by 5% in 2010 alone. Relying on foreign copper threatens our national security and harms our economic competitiveness.
Protecting the Environment and Tribal Rights
- The bill requires full National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance and tribal consultation prior to constructing the mine.
- The bill enjoys widespread local and national support that includes Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Mining Association and the Associated General Contractors of America.
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