National Strategic And Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Ben Lujan, Jr.
Date: July 12, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LUJÁN. This amendment is straightforward. It's about protecting hunting and fishing. That's how simple this is. Sadly, a similar amendment was rejected by the Rules Committee, who had a similar debate over oil and gas leasing. But I rise in strong support of the Grijalva amendment, and I urge my Republican colleagues to take a step back and consider the true impacts their policies are having on public lands.

Public lands are just that: lands for the public to enjoy and use for the great benefits that they provide. Generations of New Mexicans have used our State lands for hunting, fishing, recreation, and grazing. Mineral development is important, but let's do it where it makes sense.

We have seen bill after bill on this floor that are giveaways to Big Oil companies, mining companies, and corporate interests that don't consider the long-term detrimental impacts to wildlife habitat and public use for recreational use. Today's bill would require the Federal Government to maximize the development of mining on public lands and limit access to land for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. All the Grijalva amendment says is let's protect that little area.

This is a bad bill to hunters, anglers, and ranchers, and I urge support of the Grijalva amendment to H.R. 4402 to protect our access to public lands.

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