Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I don't know what it is with Tea-Publicans in this state. They have had a jones on for years about wanting to mine for uranium in the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River is a critical water source to Arizona, Nevada and California downstream. If you poison that water supply, we're all screwed.
The Dr. Richard Carmona for U.S. Senate campaign fact checks Rep. Jeff Flake's support for uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.
Congressman calls to open Canyon, watershed to mine uranium
Ever since Congressman Jeff Flake repeated his call to open up the Grand Canyon and its watershed to uranium mining over the weekend -- calling it "prime mining lands" -- the 12-year incumbent Congressman and former lobbyist has been trying to back away from his record.
The Congressman's campaign is denying that he ever advocated for uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, but the record is clear. On several occasions, Congressman Flake has pushed to open up the Grand Canyon and its surrounding watershed to uranium mining.
If Congressman Flake got his wish, he would endanger the drinking water of 25 million people in the Southwest. Flake's documented history of pushing uranium mining claims at the Grand Canyon has earned scorn for press throughout Arizona and surrounding states. So why is Flake pushing this so hard for this? Because he was a uranium mining lobbyist before he became a career politician.
"Before Jeff Flake was elected to Congress, he was a lobbyist and registered foreign agent for Rossing Uranium," said Carmona for Arizona communications director Andy Barr. "The Congressman's advocacy to open up the Grand Canyon and its watershed would endanger the drinking water of millions and threaten Arizona's agriculture and tourist industries. It's a dangerous position only a former uranium mining lobbyist could justify."
Congressman Jeff Flake Is A Former Lobbyist And Registered Foreign Agent For A Uranium Mine Partially Owned By Iran. The National Journal reported that Congressman Jeff Flake worked “as a Washington lobbyist for an African uranium mine with financial ties to Iran.” Specifically, Flake was a “registered foreign agent for Rossing Uranium, a company which operates a mine in Namibia that is among the world’s largest suppliers of the nuclear fuel. He earned between $5,000 and $7,000 per month opening doors in the nation’s capital and promoting the firm,” between 1990 and 1991. [National Journal, 4/18/12]
FLAKE HAS CONTINUALLY PUSHED TO ALLOW URANIUM MINING NEAR THE GRAND CANYON
Flake’s National GOP Address Criticizes Ban On Uranium Mining In The Grand Canyon Watershed. During his national GOP address, Rep. Flake criticized the Dept. of the Interior for “locking up prime mining lands in northern Arizona for responsible mining,” a clear reference to the Interior Department’s moratorium on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. [National GOP Address, 10/20/12]
July 2011: Flake Inserted Language Into An Appropriations Bill To End Ban On Uranium Mining Claims Around The Grand Canyon. In July 2011, the Associated Press reported that “an Arizona congressman wants to give the mining industry another shot at staking claims on more than 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon…Republican Rep. Jeff Flake said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to enact the temporary ban is overstepping and hurts Arizona’s economy. He added a rider to a bill to fund the Interior Department for another year that would give authority to Congress on the matter…The temporary ban in an area partly known for its high-grade uranium ore expires in December.” [AP, 7/11/11]
Flake Introduced Bill To Lift Moratorium On Grand Canyon Mining. Reported The Hill, “Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation Wednesday to prevent the Interior Department from banning new uranium mining claims on 1 million acres of land near the Grand Canyon National Park for the next 20 years.” [The Hill, 10/12/11]
Flake Proposed Rider To Transportation Bill To Allow Mining Near Grand Canyon. Reported ThinkProgress in February 2012, “The House of Representatives is considering a behemoth surface transportation bill this week, designed to fund the roads, highways, and bridges that connect our country. It has nothing to do with the public lands that belong to all of us, but that didn’t stop three Republicans from Arizona from filing an amendment to the bill that would override Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s January decision to protect 1 million acres around Grand Canyon National Park from new uranium mining requests. Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) penned the amendment.” [ThinkProgress,2/14/12]
EDITORIAL PAGES IN ARIZONA AND AROUND THE COUNTY CRITICIZED FLAKE
Arizona Republic Editorial Urged House To Drop Flake Rider Removing Mining Moratorium. Wrote the editorial board of the Arizona Republic, “Arizona Republican Rep. Jeff Flake added the rider to the Interior funding bill that would prevent Interior from putting the land off limits to mining. . . . Based on current numbers, at least 30 million visitors will go to the Canyon in the next six years. What they value from that experience has nothing to do with mining. There is no hurry to open land near the Canyon to mining activities that could have a long-term negative effect on the park and other natural resources. The House should delete this rider from the spending bill and let Interior do its job.” [Editorial, Arizona Republic,7/12/11]
Las Vegas Sun Editorial: “Flake’s Argument” On Ending The Uranium Mining Ban Around The Grand Canyon “Is Shameless.” In July 2011, the Las Vegas Sun editorialized, “Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in June issued a six-month moratorium on new uranium mining claims on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon. The ban provides time for the government to complete a study of the effects of uranium mining in the area. A final report is due this fall, and Salazar said the department is considering banning new mining claims in the area for the next 20 years…In a news release issued this month, Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., boasted about inserting a provision to block the administration from enforcing the moratorium in the spending bill that covers the Interior Department. The bill passed the House Appropriations Committee this month. Flake claimed that mining ‘can create jobs and stimulate the economy in Northern Arizona.’ But Flake’s argument is shameless. He is using the nation’s poor economy as an excuse to force a dangerous policy on the country. Flake’s argument is part of the larger Republican attempt to roll back any sort of regulation. In passing the interior spending bill from his committee, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers complained about what he called the administration’s ‘widespread regulatory overreach’ and pledged to cut it. But when it comes to clean water, Congress shouldn’t be cutting back. People need to be confident their water supply is protected, and if the Republican plan moves forward, there will be serious doubt.” [Editorial, Las Vegas Sun,7/22/11]
New York Times Editorial: Ending Uranium Mining Ban In Grand Canyon Would Harm National Park And Drinking Water For Millions Of People. In June 2011, the New York Times editorialized, “There have been the usual complaints from mining lobbyists and their Congressional allies. Representative Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, has threatened to use the interior appropriations bill to block Mr. Salazar’s plan. The moratorium will have little effect on the country’s uranium supply, most of which comes from Wyoming and New Mexico. It will protect a treasured national park and the drinking water for millions of people.” [Editorial, New York Times, 6/26/11]
FLAKE WOULD PUT DRINKING WATER OF 25 MILLION PEOPLE AT RISK
Uranium Mining Near The Canyon Would Endanger Drinking Water For 25 Million Americans In Western States. The Las Vegas Sun reported that “Experts in Las Vegas have raised concerns about uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, saying it poses a risk to the drinking water source of more than 25 million people in western states.” And the National Parks Conservation Association said that the moratorium “will prevent mining operations from contaminating the Colorado River, which would have put 25 million people at risk—in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and elsewhere—who depend on this water for drinking, agriculture, and recreation.” [Las Vegas Sun, 1/9/12; National Parks Conservation Association]