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WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., today outlined his principles to reform the 136-year old Mining Law of 1872.

At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Barrasso outlined his three core principles for mining law reform.  Barrasso wants to ensure America ’s mining industry remains globally competitive, provide certainty for the industry and taxpayers, and deliver a healthy dose of common sense to the policies affecting mining.

The hearing was held to consider reform measures to the Mining Law.  In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation which hearing witnesses indicated would impose the highest royalty rate in the world and could potentially shut down mining in the United States .

Barrasso noted the following points in today’s Committee hearing:

“Mining is essential to Wyoming ’s economy. It provides people with good paying jobs; it offers States and communities with valuable tax revenue; and it delivers vital materials to consumers.”

“I am concerned by potential provisions that will result in pushing more mining overseas. Maintaining and securing a competitive domestic mining industry is a matter of national security.”

“Reform should not punish current operators by changing the legal framework in the middle of the game.”

“Taxpayers also deserve certainty regarding reclamation, community jobs, and environmental protection."

“A good dose of common-sense is critical.  Government policies should not stand in the way of creative reclamation efforts.”

“I’m deeply troubled with my State’s decades long struggle for abandoned mine funds from coal.  We must not make the mistakes of the past.”

During the hearing, Senator Barrasso also took issue with the administrative fee the federal government is now collecting on federal mineral royalties from oil, gas, coal, and trona.  Senator Barrasso commended Wyoming ’s efficient revenue collection at the state level and questioned potential efficiencies within the Minerals Management Service.