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Support environmental protections for mining

Dec. 4, 2023    

Background: Critical minerals are essential components of solar panels, wind turbines and electric batteries—all important in the transition to cleaner energy sources. The mining for these minerals, however, can have enormous negative effects: polluted air, water and soil; the exploitation of workers; and the desecration of sacred Indigenous sites.

Mining on public lands in the U.S. is governed by the 1872 Mining Law, which fails to protect our public lands and the surrounding communities. More than a century of reckless mining has poisoned our air, water, and lands—and has disproportionately impacted Indigenous communities.

The Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act (H.R. 3495, S. 1742) would update the 1872 Mining Law to mandate strong environmental protections for water and land resources, and also protect tribal sacred sites that have been disproportionately impacted by mining operations. Other bills, like the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act (H.R. 2925, S. 1281), offer false solutions that would further weaken mining laws.

Please encourage your members of Congress to support the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act and oppose the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act.

Faith Reflection: We are entrusted with a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19). We can be climate peacemakers if we approach changemaking with an attitude of love, humility and listening, restoring right relationships as we restore God’s Earth.

Action: Urge Congress to pass the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act

Photo above: The Chemetall Foote Lithium Operation in Clayton Valley, Nevada. Photo by PDTillman, Creative Commons 2.0

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