Washington, D.C. — The transition to a clean energy economy is spurring new mining operations for raw materials in batteries and other clean energy technologies. A new report from the Center for American Progress calls for federal mining reforms that avoid the harms of historic boom-and-bust extractive economies.
Mining in the United States is still governed by the same century-old laws and regulations that have failed to protect and benefit mining communities. Valuable minerals are extracted from rural areas, leaving local communities depleted and abandoned after mining ends.
The new report offers a framework for community-oriented federal mining reform that will help build resilient economies in mining towns. It includes three principles: 1) early impact planning and mitigation; 2) community benefits agreements; and 3) long-term savings and investment of nonrenewable revenue.
The report urges federal policymakers to look to existing state statutes and local initiatives for inspiration. It cites states such as Montana and New Mexico that have in place best practices around impact plans and permanent funds, as well as communities such as Salmon, Idaho, that are spearheading local efforts to secure lasting benefits.
Read the report: “A Framework for Federal Mining Reform: Impact Planning, Benefits Sharing, and Asset-Based Revenue Management” by Mark Haggerty, Jackson Rose, and Toni Ruth
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