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Letter: Mining law does not need reform

Letter: Mining law does not need reform

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Re: the guest opinion piece  “Time to fix outdated mining law” 

The U.S. mining industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world. The 1872 Mining Act, which the author derides for a lack of environmental protection, is not an environmental statute. It is, however, complemented by exhaustive environmental, ecological and reclamation laws and regulations to ensure operations fully protect public health and safety, the environment and wildlife.

Issues related to legacy mines are not due to the Mining Law’s lack of environmental provisions, but to the fact that the history of mining predates the brief history of environmental laws that cover modern industrial activities, including mining.

Does the mining industry pay its fair share? The U.S. mining industry pays between 40 to 50 percent of earnings in federal, state and local royalties, taxes and other fees. In 2017, alone, the industry paid $17 billion in taxes.

Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Assn.

Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.

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