Chair Grijalva, Rep. Lowenthal Press Uranium Companies For Information on Lobbying Efforts With Trump Administration

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chair Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) sent a letter today asking Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy, two major uranium companies, to clarify the extent of their influence in the Department of Interior’s (DOI) decision to classify uranium as a critical mineral and in the ongoing Department of Commerce (DOC) investigation into the uranium supply as a matter of national security. You can read the full letter at http://bit.ly/2Gp5wsX.

In May 2018, DOI released a list of critical minerals pursuant to Executive Order 13817 that included uranium despite that mineral not meeting the executive order’s definition of “critical.” Shortly thereafter, in July 2018, Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels petitioned DOC to open an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  If DOC finds that uranium imports are a threat to national security, these uranium companies stand to benefit immensely from the likely subsequent halt to uranium imports. 


Today’s letter places these actions in the context of persistent questions about the role both companies played in the Trump administration’s decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument and potentially reopen Grand Canyon National Park to uranium mining. Demand for uranium is low, and without intervention by the Trump administration, mines in these areas would not be profitable. As the lawmakers write today, “it is therefore not clear what reason the administration would have to prop up this declining market, other than to improve market conditions for uranium mining companies.”

Citing the House Natural Resources Committee’s broad jurisdiction over uranium, and the lingering impacts of past of uranium mining on our public lands, the lawmakers conclude, “Decisions regarding new uranium mines need to be based on the national and public interest, not the financial interests of individual companies.”

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Media Contact: Adam Sarvana, Grijalva

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