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Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I certainly thank the distinguished chairman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, first let me just congratulate Mr. Gosar on the introduction and passage of this legislation. He has done an amazing job in helping this legislation get to where it is now, and I have every confidence that he will see it through to the end.

Mr. Chairman, according to a United States Geological Survey report, the United States currently imports over 30 percent of the country's copper demand. And in 2010 alone, domestic copper production decreased by another 5 percent; it decreased by another 5 percent.

And just as relying on foreign oil imports threatens national security, relying on foreign copper suppliers also threatens U.S. industry. We must use domestic resources to meet that growing demand; and this legislation is a major step in the right direction, producing enough copper to meet as much as 25 percent of America's current demand.

The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act would open up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world, creating new American jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy and minerals, and generating tens of billions of dollars in revenue.

Now, in the midst of a prolonged recession, Mr. Chairman, that has hit Arizona very hard, we really cannot afford not to pass this legislation because it so uniformly benefits our labor force, our State and local governments and conservationists who would benefit from much of the high-value land exchange in opening this land to mining.

I would just encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill. It's time that America begins to produce our own energy and our own minerals and to get back on track to being the greatest Nation in the history of the world.


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