Stauber Exposes the Harmful Impact of Legislation Designed to Cripple Hardrock Mining During Questioning at Natural Resources Subcommittee Hearing

May 9, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a Natural Resources Subcommittee Hearing on Energy and Mineral Resources, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) voiced his concern over a piece of legislation that would dismantle the hardrock mining industry. As a guest of the committee, Stauber had the chance to question expert witnesses on the potential impact of this legislation.

The Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Grijalva, would change the mining claim system to a leasing system and impose a 12.5% royalty on hardrock mining.

During the hearing, Stauber had the chance to question Mr. Robert D. Comer, the former Associate and Regional Solicitor for the Department of Interior and current head of mining at Norton, Rose, and Fulbright LLP on how instituting the proposed royalty and shift to a leasing system would affect iron ore mining and steel production.

Mr. Comer responded, stating, “It would have a major, devastating effect on the ability to acquire new sources of iron ore and to this day, there are still no mines that have been developed under the leasing system in the upper Midwest.”

Watch this line of questioning, HERE.

The Democrat majority on the House Natural Resources Committee invited witnesses with a decidedly anti-mining agenda, who favor policies endangering the hardrock mining industry.

Of these witnesses, Stauber questioned Ms. Gwen Lachelt, the County Commissioner from La Plata County, Colorado on whether she preferred to power the U.S. with elements developed in places like Minnesota, with strong labor and environmental standards, or if she preferred to receive them from places that lack labor and environmental standards, like China and Brazil.

Ms. Lachelt responded, stating, “I prefer that any minerals are responsibly sourced, and so I would say yes to your question.”

When Congressman Stauber asked for clarification, Ms. Lachelt stated, “You have stated that Minnesota has strong standards and I would much prefer that.”

Watch this line of questioning, HERE.