Grijalva’s anti-jobs bills

Southern Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva, friend to the pygmy owl and illegal immigration, who a few years ago encouraged businesses to boycott Arizona, is continuing his anti-mining, anti-jobs, anti-Arizona economy stance with introduction of several bills to Congress.

The “Southern Arizona Public Lands Protection Act of 2013” H.R. 1183, proposes to ban new mining claims.  The Act will, subject to valid existing rights, withdraw “all forms of entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws; location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and operation of the mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws, and the mineral materials laws” on all National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties. Grijalva has introduced similar bills every year since 2007.  This will preclude all new mineral exploration in Southern Arizona.

Southern Arizona is mineral rich with several operating mines, soon to be operating mines, and very good country for mineral exploration.


Arizona mining directly employs 11,300 people, who earned $1.22 billion in 2011. Arizona mining companies spent a total of $2.80 billion in 2011 purchasing goods and services from other Arizona businesses which supported an addition 8,700 jobs. In 2011, the mining companies themselves paid $212 million in business taxes to Arizona governments. Employees of mining companies are estimated to have paid $96 million in individual taxes.

Grijalva states concern about our “valuable natural heritage” but seems to ignore the fact that mining is part of that heritage.

Mr. Grijalva notes on his website that he is against a land exchange that Resolution Copper is seeking with the Forest Service to enable Resolution to develop a copper mine near Superior, Arizona. The proposed underground copper mine could supply 30% of America’s copper needs and bring $1 billion per year to the state’s economy for 60 years. In the land exchange, Resolution Copper would get 2,422 acres from the Forest Service in exchange for 5,344 acres of environmentally sensitive land.

Grijalva’s “Grand Canyon Watershed Protection Act” would make permanent the “temporary” withdrawal (for 20 years) of one million acres near the Grand Canyon to prevent uranium mining.  Uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau near the Grand Canyon poses no danger to the Colorado River water quality according to several studies. (See: Uranium mining and its potential impact on Colorado River water)

The “Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Act” would establish a 3,325 acre National Heritage Area in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties which could have adverse affects on private property.

For a long time, Mr. Grijalva has been a tool of the environmental industry to the detriment of his constituents, their jobs, their safety, and the Arizona economy. He has supported establishment of wilderness areas along the Mexican border which would interfere with the Border Patrol’s ability to monitor the border.

As one of Mr. Grijalva’s constituents, I urge him to show more concern for people and their economic environment.

See also:

Our unsecured border – causes and consequences




  1. You can’t be pro-uranium mining at Grand Canyon, AND be pro-jobs. It doesn’t work that way. The Grand Canyon is this states honey pot. Take it away, or at least defile it with uranium mines, and you will be hurting people like myself, who work and own businesses that rely on Grand Canyon tourists. The Grand Canyon is what brings millions of people to Arizona every year. They buy hotel rooms, food, gas, trinckets, helicopter tours, rental cars, etc. Grand Canyon National Park’s 4.3 million visitors spent $467,257,000 and supported 7,361 jobs in Arizona in 2011. I won’t even get into the fact that we know what uranium mining has done to parts of AZ in the past. (see the Navajo reservation for some real horror stories) Or the fact that the Colorado river supplies the drinking water for 30 million people in the US. 30 MILLION. That might not matter to folks like you down in Tucson, but is sure as hell matters to me and my family up here. We have to drink that water. We have precedent of what uranium mining can do at Grand Canyon. The Orphan mine at the GC, is an old mine that was closed and is now leeching out material into the Colorado river. It’s a very small mine, so it’s only leeching small amounts of radioactive material. But folks like you want more mines. Here another factor. The uranium mines are Canadian companies. They will employ a handful of workers, and then after they mine the ore, that ore WILL NOT STAY IN THE US. It’s being shipped to India, China, Asia, Europe. Everywhere but the US. Canadian company, and ore that will benefit another country?? And you people support this? That’s about the most UnAmerican thing to support. I’ll end this the way I started it. You can’t be pro-jobs, AND be pro-uranium mining at Grand Canyon.

    1. The science shows that even if there was a spill of uranium ore into the river, it would not be harmful. Read the provided link. In the unlikely case of spilling 66,000 pounds of 1% uranium ore into the river, it would increase the concentration from the natural content of 4.00 ppb to 4.02 parts per billion. So, yes you can be pro-jobs and pro-mining.

      1. Ok. Let’s say that uranium in our drinking water is ok. Not sure what world you are living in where that would be ok, but fine, let’s say it is. Here’s another issue, the average Grand Canyon tourist does not want to visit/fly over/ take a vacation to a landsacpe littered with uranium mines. The mines themselves will work 24 hours a day. All day long, and all night long. At night, the flood lights come on. Unlike yourself, I have witnessed first hand the noise and the light pollution genereated by one of these mines. Just one. Now multiply that times 1000, and you are now looking at a “tourist destination” that is not very appealing and no longer has beautiful night skys, or day skys for that matter. I am not an envrio-nut. In fact, I am a small business owner who tends to vote on the conservative side. So I say once again, you can’t be pro-jobs and pro-uranium mining at Grand Canyon. If those thousands of proposed mines go in, I can kiss my business goodbye. As well as the thousands of other people who depend on the tourism of that big hole. Also, you neglected to send me your feedback about what you thought about the fact that the mining companies are Canadian, and the ore will NOT go to powering the US. Those Canadian companies ship that ore to India, China, Asia, and Europe. That’s all we need, is US uranium ore going to fuel China! So, in conclusion, you are willing to pollute our water supply, ruin one of AZ’s biggest tourist destinations, lose billions of dollars in tourism, all so you can send uranium ore to fuel the economy of a communist nation and one of our biggest global competitors? You should be ashamed.

  2. Something seems really fishy about the numbers here. 11,300 people earning 1.22 Billion dollars works out to each employee earning a bit less than 108,00 a year. That doesn’t really match other figures I’ve seen, the national mining association, for example, says Arizona miners earn about 78,000 a year.

    And if we’re really going to look at this issue from a purely industrial standpoint (and we probably shouldn’t), tourism generates 18 billion a year compared to mining’s 4.6 billion. It doesn’t make sense to let the smaller industry imperil the larger.

    1. The $108,000 figure includes wages, salaries, and fringe benefits such as employer contributions to health insurance and retirement plans.

      The average labor income of all employees directly and indirectly supported by the mining industry is $65,000.

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