WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Obama administration announced a decision to withdraw one million acres of land surrounding the Grand Canyon from new hardrock mining claims, for 20 years. The region is believed to be rich in uranium deposits. Following is a statement from NEI’s Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs, Alex Flint:
“The administration’s decision prevents mining for some of the nation’s best high-grade uranium deposits. There is no scientifically verified threat to the environment of the Grand Canyon National Park from uranium mining.
“This decision will further increase our dependence on imported sources of energy. Thirty years ago, reactors here used U.S. mined uranium for 100 percent of electricity production.
“The United States has the fourth-largest uranium deposits in the world behind Australia, Canada and Kazakhstan. Our nation’s ability to realistically pursue energy independence hinges in part on our ability and willingness to produce uranium supplies domestically.”