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View Diary: NEWS!! Pombo Amendment starts to crumble (#10 in series) (37 comments)

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  •  Did the Senate (4.00)
    have any provisions re: the mining law in their version? I'm curious as to the details being reconciled from their side.

    Do you know when the conference committee is meeting? I'd imagine they're working fast and furious, as this is the budget reconciliation we're talking about, and recess is fast approaching.

    •  None. (4.00)
      And key western GOP senators have taken public stands against it.  Domenici (NM), Allard (CO) (who feels Mark Udall breathing down his neck), and Thomas (WY).  All have been deluged with opposition from hunting and fishing groups.

      Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) penned a letter signed by 8 other Rep. House members, too.  Wilson & Domenici were in the late Friday afternoon news cycle, and I presume they're working together on this.  (She being the presumptive heir to his Senate seat, and his political protegé).  I've diaried on this:

      On Allard, and on Wilson/Domenici (rather than reiterate here).

      No word on the conference yet.  I'm on a mining e-mail list that's von top of this issue.  It's pretty rare I find something before it makes that list (Domenici's stand being one of the rare exceptions).   And being a key player as Chairman of Senate Energy & Resources.  I assume I'll hear fast once the conference is announced.  Another good source tracking this is on the legislative end is National Environmental Trust.

    •  Senate side (4.00)
      No the Senate did not which gave Cubin and Rehberg a good alibi for their votes.  They could get off now saying that they knew the provision would get stripped in conference since it had little Senate support.  

      Justice is merely the advantage of the strong. -Plato's Republic

      by Glaucon on Mon Dec 12, 2005 at 05:33:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And it was in the Budget Reconciliation (none)
        A thousand other reasons to vote for and against.  For example, Heather Wilson (R-NM) voted against it on Medicare grounds.  Only later, when the groundswell against it was becoming apparent, did she get on board against the mining provisions.

        Mining's a contentious issue.  The 1872 Mining Act is still almost entirely intact, 133 years after passage.  (In an entirely different time.)  There have been numerous efforts to rework it, but none successful.  The 1994 moratorium on patenting (selling public land at $5/acre max) is one of the few changes.  And that's provisional, requiring annual renewal, as ongoing efforts to update 1872 are duked out in the halls of Congress.  Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) is one of the better guys on our side.  No surprise:  he's from a state that knows something of mining.  Though coal doesn't fall under 1872, as it's not defined as hardrock mining.

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