Chairmen Hastings and Bishop Letter to Secretary Salazar on Proposed Withdrawal of Energy Development in Northern Arizona

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2012 -

Dear Secretary Salazar:

Earlier this year, the Department of the Interior ("Department") withdrew 1 million acres in northern Arizona from new uranium mining claims. By taking this action, the Obama Administration voided a bipartisan agreement partially codified in law that has been respected for nearly three decades. In making this decision, you argued the withdrawal was necessary to protect drinking water sources. However, the Administration's own review of the potential impacts of uranium mining to the environment, as well as studies by the State of Arizona, do not support the I million acre withdrawal imposed by the Department and, in fact, show that uranium development can be done safely in an environmentally conscious manner. There is a legitimate concern that the Obama Administration has elevated politics over sound science by initiating and taking this action.

Under House and Committee rules, the Committee on Natural Resources has broad oversight jurisdiction over the Department and its activities, including those affecting mineral resources on public lands, mining interests generally, conservation of the radium supply in the United States, mineral land laws, and the Geological Survey.

Read the entire letter HERE.