On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, the American Exploration Mining Association (AEMA) announced their disappointment with the Obama Administration’s misuse of executive authorities in its final days. The declaration came when Secretary Sally Jewell announced a two-year administrative segregation and proposed a 30,000 acre land withdraw in Montana. The land withdrawal prevents permit applications for many Montana Mining Association (MMA) members who have patented and unpatented claims in the withdrawn area.
“This midnight action is one of a series of decisions by Secretary Jewel that puts the United States domestic supply of critical and strategic minerals, and the economic vitality of the rural west at risk,” said Laura Skaer, AEMA Executive Director. “Simply put, this administration did not have to take this action in this authoritarian way.”
The current permitting process is built on science, public input, transparency, and due process rights. Today’s segregation and proposed withdrawal violates due process and ignores the regulatory tools the agencies have to minimize environmental impacts from mineral exploration and mining.
“Many MMA members have patented and unpatented claims in these very historic mining districts and stand to lose years of work and investment,” said Tamara Johnson, Executive Director of Montana Mining Association. “Without any fact-based evidence, one individual, Sec. Jewell, chose to ignore private property and mineral rights and take this action. We could not be more disappointed”
Both associations will be working with the incoming administration to overturn these last minute and short sighted withdrawals.
Tags: EPA Rules, Environment, Mining, Environment, Secretary Sally Jewel, Montana, Public Land