Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today voted against an amendment in the House Appropriations Committee that would have removed language from the Interior Appropriations bill which blocks a moratorium on uranium mining in northern Arizona. The amendment failed 23-26.
“Uranium mining outside of Grand Canyon National Park can create jobs and stimulate the economy in northern Arizona without jeopardizing the splendor and natural beauty within the Park,” said Flake. “That’s why the proposed moratorium on new uranium claims is opposed by state and local officials in Arizona.”
In 2009, Interior Secretary Salazar halted new uranium mining claims over 1 million acres of federal land outside of Grand Canyon National for a period of two years. After extending this ban earlier this year for an additional period of six months, Secretary Salazaar announced that the Administration’s preferred action moving forward would be to implement a 20-year moratorium. Congressman Flake was able to add language to the Interior Appropriations bill that prevents the Interior Department from moving ahead with such a plan.