Living on Earth
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently signed a 20 year moratorium on mining for uranium near the Grand Canyon National Park. Jane Danowitz of the Pew Environment Group tells host Bruce Gellerman that it would protect close to the park but surrounding lands are still under threat.
DANOWITZ: I think one of the real problems here is that the United States still has a law in its books that was signed by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, that does govern the mining of gold, uranium and other so-called hard-rock metals. And under that law, corporations, including those that are foreign-owned, can go almost anywhere on U.S. public lands, including places that are in close proximity to National Parks, and in National Forests, and mine.
And to add insult to injury, the metals that they can take, including gold and uranium, they can take for free without taxpayer compensation. This is in contrast to what oil and gas and coal companies have done for decades and that is, pay the federal treasury royalties.
Listen to the full story or read the transcript, Grand Canyon Safe from Uranium Mining, on the Living on Earth website.