Today, the House Natural Resources Committee plans to markup the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act. The bill would make it easier for mining companies and individuals to stake claims on our public lands — without the existence of valid mineral claim — while overturning the settled law, as confirmed by the Rosemont decision. In anticipation of the hearing, Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Blaine Miller-McFeeley issued the following statement:
“It’s long past time to update the antiquated 1872 hardrock mining law, but the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act is not the solution. Instead of updating existing law to protect communities, safeguard water resources, and protect Indigenous sacred sites, it gives mining companies unprecedented power to hold our public lands hostage for extractive purposes — even without a valid mineral claim.
“Now is not the time for more handouts to the mining industry. We need legislation like the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act to modernize our mining laws, protect the environment, and prevent unnecessary harm to mining impacted communities. As we urgently build out the clean energy infrastructure of the future, we must ensure our mineral supply chains are as sustainable as possible. The Mining Regulatory Clarity Act only perpetuates an already broken status quo.”