PLP and Mining Districts
February 2021 by Scott Harn
I admit I was sitting on pins and needles, waiting to see if President Trump would sign the proposed Executive Order we presented with Public Lands for the People (PLP) prior to the expiration of his term in office.
Even the news organization Reuters believed that another Executive Order related to mining would be issued, stating on January 8:
“Administration officials tell Reuters they plan to publish a raft of decisions on January 15 that will expand miners’ access to federal lands... Biden will able to reverse some of Trump’s changes...but some of Trump’s steps will either be irreversible or require Biden to restart the rule-making process...”
While administrative approval was given to Resolution Copper’s large project in Arizona on January 15, no other major mining-related orders or decisions were issued.
When Democrats won the two outstanding Senate elections in Georgia, this created a 50-50 party split in the Senate which allows for Vice President Harris to provide the deciding vote should a tie vote occur. This throws into serious doubt whether Senator Barrasso (R-Wyoming) will be seated as the chair of the Senate Energy and Resources Committee.
Clark Pearson of PLP and I are hoping to get back to DC as soon as this pandemic allows so we can meet and strategize with our friends in DC. I assume the goal will be to return to our previous strategy of getting our much-needed regulatory reform inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA has been one of the few bills that passes each year with huge bipartisan support.
The bottom line remains the same: The federal government must assert control from overzealous state regulators over regulations pertaining to federal mining claims in order to bring some regulatory certainty back to mining in America for both small and large operations. This is the only viable method to wrest control back from China, and to put suction dredges back in the water.
And we are not about to stop until we reach this goal.
MMAC & PLP Update
We are quite pleased to report there are some courageous miners who have taken the time to learn their rights and have gone back to dredging while knowing they could be unlawfully harassed at any time by law enforcement…
…I’ll be heading back to Washington, DC, on June 4 with Clark Pearson of PLP for nearly a week of meetings with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, US Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous members of Congress in both the House and Senate.
Face-to-face meetings in Washington, DC, with Trump administration officials and members of Congress are still on hold due to the coronavirus, but Public Lands for the People is continuing to work on mining-related issues via phone and email.
This will provide the opportunity to meet with many of the members of Congress in a more informal setting at several meetings, luncheons and dinners. And we have been offered the chance to meet with President Trump’s staff.
After many decades of closures, land-use restrictions, and over-regulation, miners and all other public land users may finally see some real relief due to the efforts of MMAC.
MMAC & PLP Update
I’ve received quite a few inquiries from miners who are beginning to realize that traditional Mining Districts are powerful entities and they are looking to get their district organized if it’s in disarray.
One caller wondered why he should be required to join MMAC, asked why MMAC was not a non-profit, and compared it to some kind of extortion attempt. If he had questions like these, I assume there are others with similar questions and I will address them here.
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