Supervisor Johnson Re-Elected as Co-Chair of Az/Utah Economic Coalition

St. George, Utah – Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson met with members of the Arizona/Utah Local Economic Coalition on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, to receive an update on the uranium mining withdrawal lawsuit and to elect new chairmen. During the biannual meeting, Supervisor Johnson along with Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner were re-elected as co-chairs of the coalition. “I appreciate the confidence the counties have in me and Commissioner Gardner,” Supervisor Johnson stated. According to Johnson, the coalition was formed in 2011 between Mohave County and several Utah Counties and cities to further the economic benefit of uranium mining. During the meeting, members were updated on the uranium mining withdrawal status by Pam Hill from the American Clean Energy Resources Trust (ACERT). Mohave County along with Quaterra Alaska, Inc. filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the U.S. Department of the Interior, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and BLM Director Robert Abbey over the decision to withdraw over 1 million acres of public lands and National Forest System lands in Mohave County and Coconino County near the Arizona Strip area. According to a report done by ACRET, future uranium mining claims could have an economic impact of roughly $29 billion for Mohave County and the surrounding Utah counties. According to Johnson, in 1951 uranium was originally discovered at the Orphan (Cu) Mine from patented claims that President Roosevelt signed in 1903. “The Orphan Mine, so far, has been of the highest grade and most profitable in the U.S.,” Johnson stated. “By restricting future mining claims in the area, Mohave County residents are losing out on over 1,000 new jobs being created as well as over a $40 million year payroll,” Johnson continued. A presentation was also given during the meeting by Attorney Connie Brooks on the legal status of uranium mining cases. According to Johnson, Quaterra Alaska, Inc. partnered with the county in their lawsuit in order to argue that they not only suffered economic damages from the mining ban, but also that the BLM didn’t follow the federal government’s National Environmental Policy Act and Federal Land Policy and Management Act when it produced the report. “This withdrawal is taking away our land and our economic future. The Secretary of the Interior does not have the authority to do these things. This kind of taking of land, power and oversight from states, counties and legal investors can only be accomplished through an act of Congress,” Johnson stated. The members of the Arizona/Utah Local Economic Coalition are Mohave, Kane, San Juan, and Washington Counties and the town of Fredonia. ###

As U.S. is Poised to be Knocked Off as World’s Richest Economy, Federal Government Sits on Its Uranium

Lake Havasu City, AZ – New figures released by the World Bank’s International Comparison Program predict that by the end of 2014 the Chinese purchasing power will surpass that of America.  According to Supervisor Buster Johnson, the restrictions imposed by the federal government when it comes to access to mining of our natural resources is one of the main reasons the U.S. is poised to be knocked off as the world’s richest economy after holding the position for 142 years.  “In the northern strip area of Mohave County, the government created the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument closing off access to over 1 million acres of public land that could have been used for mining clean coal and natural gas reserves.  The federal government again in 2009 shut off more economic development for Mohave County taxpayers when they broke their 1984 agreement and shut us off from 28 billion dollars in economic development by restricting us from mining the richest deposits of uranium in the country,” Johnson explained.   According to the Comparison Program’s figures, based on 2011 prices, the purchasing power of the U.S. Yuan will surpass that of the U.S. dollar in 2014 despite China’s economy being just 60 percent the size of America’s at market exchange rates.  “Our nation is rich in natural resources which, if safely recovered, would not only employ our people and bring back prosperity but could make us self-reliant again.  Yet the federal government keeps putting up road blocks and dragging their feet on major projects, like the keystone pipeline, that if approved could bring economic growth to our country for years to come,” Supervisor Johnson stated.   Johnson has been questioning what the answer from our federal government is on the issue, and from what he sees it’s more regulations and taxes on the American people.  “Road infrastructure is in desperate need in this country.  The federal government’s answer to the problem is a bill that would allow all states to place toll booths on our former “free” ways,” Johnson explained.  “America was built on dreams becoming reality and on dreamers being rewarded for their hard effort.  By enforcing more restrictions and expenses on the American people, it is inevitable that other countries will surpass us in wealth,” Johnson ended. ###