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Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. QUAYLE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1904, a bill authored by my good friend and fellow Arizonan, Congressman Gosar, that will create thousands of jobs in Arizona.

I want to commend Chairman Hastings for his work on this and for bringing it to the floor today.

What we see right now is a jobs crisis that we have in America. We need to be able to unleash the ingenuity of our job creators. We also have to make sure that we're not putting up barriers for people to actually start companies, expand companies and hire new workers.

H.R. 1904 will have broad economic impacts, not only for Arizona but for the country as a whole, because it will create 3,700 jobs equaling nearly $220.5 million in annual wages. These are good, high-paying jobs right here in America. It will also generate nearly $20 billion in Federal, State, county, and local tax revenue.

This is a win-win. Not only is this legislation completely paid for, but it also ensures that mining is done in a responsible manner because H.R. 1904 requires full compliance with NEPA and because it requires tribal consultation prior to mine construction.

Now, Mr. Chairman, copper is a vital mineral that we have in the United States and across the world. It's going to continue to be vital because it's a critical mineral that is widely used in construction, telecommunications, electricity, and transportation. Copper is also extremely conductive, which makes it very important in power generation and utility transmission.

Our actual desire and demand for copper is just going to continue to go up. That's why we've actually started to import close to 30 percent of our copper from foreign countries. Now, if we actually open up this mine and allow this land swap to happen, this project alone could provide us with enough copper to meet 25 percent of current U.S. demand. By taking advantage of American sources of copper, we can prevent supply disruptions and decrease our dependence on foreign imports. Most importantly, Mr. Chairman, this bill will create thousands of American jobs in a responsible manner at no cost to the taxpayer.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.


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