Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar's, D.D.S (AZ-04) legislation, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013 (H.R. 687) was considered by the House Natural Resources Committee. Introduced alongside Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), this legislation facilitates a land exchange of 2,600 acres in Pinal County, Arizona for federal stewardship of 5,500 acres of conservation land. This exchange will open up one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world and provide nearly 4,000 new jobs to the region.
Following the hearing, Rep. Gosar stated, "After the disappointment throughout Arizona last year, when this critical jobs bill passed the House only to die under Senator Reid's watch in the U.S. Senate, today's hearing is an important first step in its final passage this year."
"This land exchange provides the framework for much needed high-tech, high-wage jobs. Receiving overwhelming support throughout the state, this bill is expected to substantially boost the Arizona economy."
"On behalf of the people of Arizona who have waited too long for this critical piece of legislation, I look forward to bringing this bill back to the floor of the House and seeing the President sign it."
Among the many supporters of this bill are Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Payson, the City of Apache Junction, Pinal and Gila Counties, and the members of the state legislature that represent the region.
According to a recently conducted economic analysis, the resulting central Arizona copper mine will create nearly 3,700 jobs equating to $220.5 million in annual wages. The total economic impact of the project is estimated to be over $61.4 billion, over $1 billion per year over the life of the mine.
In the 112th Congress, Congressman Paul Gosar navigated the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act to House-passage. This was the first time the initiative was passed by either house of Congress in its eight-year history. The U.S. Senate held a hearing on the Gosar bill last February, but failed to pass it before adjournment.