Lawmakers Hold Congressional Hearing at Edgar Mine

edgar mine hearing 12.10.15

Sitting at the table on the right, U.S. Reps., left to right, Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.; Cresent Hardy, R-Nev.; Rob Bishop, R-Utah; and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., heard about legislation to attract more engineering students to mine-reclamation efforts.

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In the first congressional hearing ever held in a mine, the House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources took testimony from industry leaders and educators at the Colorado School of Mines Edgar Experimental Mine in support of HR 3734, the Mining Schools Enhancement Act, introduced by Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV). This bill, in combination with H.R. 3843 (Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)), the “Locatable Minerals Claim Location and Maintenance Fees Act,” and H.R. 3844 (Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)), the “Energy and Minerals Reclamation Foundation Establishment Act,” comprise a larger mining development and reclamation bipartisan reform package.

While all three reforms offer a proactive and positive set of solutions, they are now even more critical, in light of the EPA-caused Animas River spill, which occurred last August some 325 miles from here at the Gold King Mine not far from Silverton,” Committee Chairman Rob Bishop stated. Mr. Hardy’s common sense bill – H.R. 3734 – encourages and provides support to America’s mining schools that produce and help train the experts needed on the technical side to do this work in the future.”  The education component is particularly important given that the EPA does not employee any mining engineers and that a majority of the United States’ mining industry’s technical leaders will reach retirement age within the next decade.

Dr. Hugh Miller, Associate Professor, Colorado School of Mines, and Leigh Freeman, Principal, Leigh Freeman Consultancy, testified in support of the bill.  Their testimony is linked below.

Read Testimony given by CMA Member Leigh Freeman here

Read Testimony given by CMA Member Dr. Hugh Miller here
Read article in Durango Herald: D.C. lawmakers meet inside Colorado mine