Private Job Creation With A Stroke Of The Pen

While most conservatives took a dim view of the recent passage of the "Cromnibus," the $1.1 trillion government spending bill that funds operations through next September, we should recognize the bill contained a number of riders that limited government intervention in the marketplace and will ultimately allow the free market to create thousands of jobs.  One of the most critical provisions opens up barren lands in Arizona for copper mining.  The project, often referred to as Rio Tinto or the Resolution Copper mine, will create 4,000 jobs and jump-start an estimated $60 billion in economic activity in the Western United States. Federal ownership of massive swaths of lands in America's west has turned once productive towns, cities, and counties into ghost towns as gainful economic activity is thwarted by federal intervention in the name of environmental protection. Elected officials and political appointees often pay lip services to the idea of a "balanced approach" to these lands, but few will go to bat for the economic side of the equation.  In the case of Rio Tinto and a handful of other projects, they did. A bipartisan group of Western leaders supported a series of lands bills utilizing federal land for job-creating mining and real energy ventures.  The package included provisions that will advance mining projects in Nevada, Arizona, and Montana; open land to oil and gas projects; and free up significant timber land in Alaska for a Native Alaskan corporation to log for timber, creating much needed employment in a remote region. Among the chief supporters of the land packages were U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ), who applauded passage of the Rio Tinto copper land exchange.  In a statement, they said, “There is clearly a strategic national interest in increasing America's domestic production of copper. To maintain the strength of the most technologically advanced military in the world, America’s armed forces need stable supplies of copper for their equipment, ammunition, and electronics. In fact, copper is the second-most utilized mineral by the Department of Defense, and the Pentagon has labeled it an ‘essential mineral.’" “The public lands title," they added, "will help address our strategic national interest in copper by advancing the Resolution Copper Mine project, which has potential to meet 25% of U.S. demand by developing the largest copper deposit ever discovered in North America." Recognizing the importance the project will have to the local economy, they added, “Most importantly, Resolution Copper represents a game-changer for an area of Arizona facing grave economic challenges. It is estimated to create some 3,700 mining-related jobs in and around the Town of Superior and generate more than $61 billion in economic value to our state over the life of the mine." For too long, the federal government has stood in the way of economic prosperity and progress. The provisions of law in the Cromnibus won't solve all of the federal impediments to economic growth; but for a small part of the country, the bill removes some straitjackets on economic growth that have been in place for too long.  Let the job creation begin. Photo credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

While most conservatives took a dim view of the recent passage of the “Cromnibus,” the $1.1 trillion government spending bill that funds operations through next September, we should recognize the bill contained a number of riders that limited government intervention in the marketplace and will ultimately allow the free market to create thousands of jobs.  One of the most critical provisions opens up barren lands in Arizona for copper mining.  The project, often referred to as Rio Tinto or the Resolution Copper mine, will create 4,000 jobs and jump-start an estimated $60 billion in economic activity in the Western United States.

Federal ownership of massive swaths of lands in America’s west has turned once productive towns, cities, and counties into ghost towns as gainful economic activity is thwarted by federal intervention in the name of environmental protection. Elected officials and political appointees often pay lip services to the idea of a “balanced approach” to these lands, but few will go to bat for the economic side of the equation.  In the case of Rio Tinto and a handful of other projects, they did.

A bipartisan group of Western leaders supported a series of lands bills utilizing federal land for job-creating mining and real energy ventures.  The package included provisions that will advance mining projects in Nevada, Arizona, and Montana; open land to oil and gas projects; and free up significant timber land in Alaska for a Native Alaskan corporation to log for timber, creating much needed employment in a remote region.

Among the chief supporters of the land packages were U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ), who applauded passage of the Rio Tinto copper land exchange.  In a statement, they said, “There is clearly a strategic national interest in increasing America’s domestic production of copper. To maintain the strength of the most technologically advanced military in the world, America’s armed forces need stable supplies of copper for their equipment, ammunition, and electronics. In fact, copper is the second-most utilized mineral by the Department of Defense, and the Pentagon has labeled it an ‘essential mineral.’”

“The public lands title,” they added, “will help address our strategic national interest in copper by advancing the Resolution Copper Mine project, which has potential to meet 25% of U.S. demand by developing the largest copper deposit ever discovered in North America.”

Recognizing the importance the project will have to the local economy, they added, “Most importantly, Resolution Copper represents a game-changer for an area of Arizona facing grave economic challenges. It is estimated to create some 3,700 mining-related jobs in and around the Town of Superior and generate more than $61 billion in economic value to our state over the life of the mine.”

For too long, the federal government has stood in the way of economic prosperity and progress. The provisions of law in the Cromnibus won’t solve all of the federal impediments to economic growth; but for a small part of the country, the bill removes some straitjackets on economic growth that have been in place for too long.  Let the job creation begin.

Photo credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Comments

  1. omniscrew spending are a frigg job upon the taxpayer. It is a way for congress not to do their due diligence in shepherding our money. They just bribe each other with taxpayer money for votes. The budget bill should be in sections with each category independent of the other. No pork added

  2. Only reason they did this is because it is a Brazilian mining firm and George Soros probably just purchased stock in it or has huge stock options in Rio Tinto.

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