Why the U.S. Needs Mine Permitting Reform
May 23, 2023
Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. attracted almost 20 percent of t...
Last week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) visited the Resolution Copper project and pledged his support for the mine’s development and his commitment to push for legislation to help it succeed. After his visit, Sen. McCain authored an op-ed featured in The Arizona Republic, in which he discussed the economic boon that this project could bring to local communities.
In particular, Sen. McCain highlighted the opportunity for the nearby town of Superior and San Carlos Reservation—two communities that have suffered economic depressions following mine closures and two communities that would benefit from the potential 4,000 jobs created by Resolution Copper.
“Just a few decades ago, this area [Superior], an hour east of Phoenix, was a busy mining community. But its economy bottomed out after the old Magma Copper Mine closed in 1995. Today, a quarter of its residents live below the poverty line. Their neighbors on the San Carlos Reservation are in worse shape, reportedly suffering from a 70 percent unemployment rate and a rampant drug-abuse problem.”
“The Resolution Copper project has the potential to utterly transform these communities. At full capacity, the mine could create as many as 4,000 jobs and produce roughly 25 percent of our nation's domestic copper supply. Arizona as a whole will likely benefit from tens of billions of dollars in increased economic activity over the lifespan of the mine.”
While Resolution Copper is under construction, the final step to complete the project is to pass the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act. The bill, introduced by Sen. McCain, Sen. Jeff Flack (R-Ariz) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), would allow the mine to expand onto land currently owned by the federal government that has an expansive supply of copper.
“I am committed to passing that bill, and I believe it's not a question of if our state will seize this tremendous opportunity, but when. It's past time for our state and nation to tap into this potential and help Arizonans in depressed areas like Superior realize a more prosperous future.”
Projects like the Resolution Copper help stimulate not only local and state economies, but also our nation’s economy. Production of domestic minerals, like copper, contributes to our economic recovery, supplies countless jobs and supports the development of technologies that we depend on every day.
Read Sen. McCain’s op-ed in full here.