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What about HR 2262?

gold-pan-mining.jpgThere was an article in The Idaho Statesman yesterday regarding a mining reform bill coming before the House Rules Committee and eventually to the floor sometime this week. In fact, the Rules Committee is hearing positions this afternoon with guidelines for the amendment process posted and here there is the texts of the bill, the committee report, and summary/text of amendments to be submitted.

In that Stateman’s article, the bill’s current designation is never given. It’s H.R. 2262.

The writer of the Statesman article does phrase this as “a national debate over the future of mining on public lands has become a local issue in Boise because of a proposed gold mine upstream.” H.R. 2262 is meant to ‘reform’ (update) the 1872 Mining Act and “was approved in committee over the objections of Idaho Republican Rep. Bill Sali, a former miner.

I don’t know enough yet and am doing some reading. The New West had an article on Dave Bieter’s opposition from earlier this year. Earthworks had a couple of references along with information on the most recent update (This is a pdf file).

Other resources to track the bill or find out more or what it’s about:

  1. Congress.org,
  2. Thomas (Library of Congress),
  3. Washington Watch – H.R. 2262

Sys-Con Media H.R. 2262 The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 What People Think: 17% ab For, 83% Against

Edit (16:31 MST): [One thing I failed to mention was the story below about the church in Germany being moved, one of the companies who owns that mine is Boise’s Washington Group International. It owns a 50% share.]



Moving Way for a Coal Mine

In a tiny, 700-year-old German village in the eastern part of the country, there’s an American flag that flies upside down. It won’t much longer.


For the Heuersdorf’s roughly 50 inhabitants who will have to find alternative living arrangements before Dec. 31, 2008, the church’s move might at least have a purpose. “We want to keep using the church,” church official Matthias Weismann told DPA. “It can be a spiritual center of remembrance for Heuersdorf and the other towns in this region which have been forced to make way for the strip mines.”


The town sits upon an estimated 52 million tons of lignite, or brown coal, which will be taken for use at the nearby power plant in Lippendorf. The town had originally won a court battle to keep its land, but a 2005 decision by a higher court overturned that ruling.

The town of Heuersdorf in Germany – near Leipzig (in the eastern part) – the entire town’s inhabitants are being displaced to make way for the coal underneath their homes and other town structures.

This particular church was built in the 13th century! 1297! As this gentleman ponderously points out, said much more rationally than I and without any cussing.

The Emmaus Church was evicted from its plot of land of the past 750 years when it was discovered that it had thoughtlessly allowed itself to be built atop a large deposit of “brown coal,” or lignite that is now used to power innumerable Ipods, flat screen televisions, labor-saving devices, and computers so people can read valuable blogs like this one.

The company responsible for the displacement is Mibrag, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, is owned, half each, by NRG Energy of Princeton, NJ, and Washington Group International of Boise, Idaho*

*Washington Group International today announced that it has postponed its previously scheduled Special Meeting of Stockholders until November 9, 2007. At that meeting, stockholders are scheduled to vote on the proposed merger transaction providing for the acquisition of Washington Group by URS Corporation. The meeting has been postponed to allow for the solicitation of additional votes in favor of the transaction in light of the fact that the transaction has, to date, received insufficient votes for approval. Approval of the transaction requires the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of all issued and outstanding shares of Washington Group common stock.

[URS Corporation:

URS is the largest global engineering design firm and a leading U.S. federal government contractor providing a comprehensive range of professional planning, design, systems engineering and technical assistance, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance services.]

It just gets better and better.