Reviving Uranium Mining in Arizona

A bulldozer inside a mine pit ready for uranium mining

For years, lobbyists have been working on behalf of mining companies to voice their interest in greater support for uranium mining in Arizona. Back in April, the Trump administration released a report that outlines its plan to revitalize the U.S. nuclear energy industry and support domestic uranium mining. The report was arranged by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group – a task force that was appointed by President Trump in July 2019. The group developed this report to tackle a detailed analysis of the country’s nuclear fuel supply chain. 

 

What is Uranium Mining?

Uranium is a type of metal whose physical properties give it the potential to generate very large amounts of energy from a small amount of material without releasing greenhouse gases. It is a naturally radioactive metal that exists practically everywhere on Earth, creating “natural background radiation.” Over 80% of radiation exposure of an average person comes from natural background radiation. 

Because of its ability to produce energy in commercial nuclear reactors, it fuels 15% of the world’s electricity production.

 

How The Nuclear Report Supports Uranium Mining

The report makes several key recommendations to the U.S. Government. These include streamlining the permitting process for public land access, making it much easier for companies to mine uranium. As well as the ability to make direct purchases of 17 to 19 Mlb of U3O8 (chemical compound for uranium) to establish a uranium reserve beginning in 2020. 

The report also recommends extending an agreement that limits Russian uranium imports, denying imports from China, and funding research and development on new types of reactors and fuels. 

 

The Argument Against Increased Uranium Mining

As one may expect, environmentalists and Native American tribes are concerned about the report and the Trump administration’s push for uranium mining. These opponents feel that with easier access to public lands, mining companies will increase production near national parks, particularly The Grand Canyon, and harm public health. Many also argue that the nation already supplies uranium at competitive prices, and this is the government’s attempt to save the coal industry.

 

How Lobbying Can Play a Role in Mining Production

Whether you are an organization that is for or against the push for increased mining production, a lobbying group will help make your voice heard. For 20 years, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. has proudly been one of Arizona’s premier lobbying firms due to our dedication to clients and their goals. We have been at the forefront of many policies, acting as our clients’ advisors in bringing concerns to the people that matter. If you are in need of getting your voice heard and advocating for policy change, contact us today to learn how we can help.