For Immediate Release
Washington DC — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Monday that the Obama administration would impose a new 20-year, million-acre ban on uranium mining for federal lands in Arizona, despite the fact that these lands hold the highest-grade of known uranium deposits in the United States. IER President Tom Pyle issued the following statement in response to the administration’s decision:
“At a time when the U.S. is producing less than one-tenth of the uranium we need for our annual nuclear demand, Secretary Salazar has chosen to close off another million acres of prime federal lands and impose an arbitrary 20-year ban on new mining claims. This latest power-grab by federal regulators is another example of the Obama administration’s willingness to use ideologically-driven energy policies as a means to control the U.S. economy. Already, American consumers are experiencing the effects of the president’s agenda to stop, stall, and slow-walk domestic energy production. Reports in recent weeks that electricity rates, gasoline prices, and other energy costs are skyrocketing serve to underscore the need for more domestic production, not less.
“Today’s announcement further compounds a man-made energy crisis that has been planned and executed in Washington D.C. To push back uranium exploration in Arizona until 2032 greatly hinders our ability to meet the challenges of our energy future with clean, safe nuclear technologies. It also appears to fundamentally undercut the administration’s own goal of reducing carbon emissions.
“American consumers deserve a comprehensive energy plan that utilizes the full array of our domestic sources, including nuclear power. ‘No’ is not an energy policy.”