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Biden’s supervisor is moving to close another mine over environmental concerns amid the green energy push

The Biden administration is close to implementing a 20-year ban on mining in A South Dakota woodlands For its proximity to cultural and natural resources.

In a joint announcement Friday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service said they would consider a 20-year demolition of 20,574 acres in the Black Hills National Forest near Pactula Reservoir and Rapid Creek. Suggested action New mining claims are prohibited and issue new two-year federal metal leases while agencies review the proposal.

“Whether it be northern Minnesota, southern Arizona, Alaska, or now South Dakota, these types of land restrictions imposed by the anti-mining Biden administration are impeding local development of the minerals we need for national defense, energy technology, and everyday life.” deputy. Pete Stober, R-MN, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources, told Fox News Digital.

He continued, “We need to use our resources that we have here with our workforce, not take it off the internet.”


representative. Pete Stober, R-Minnesota, criticized the proposed measure, saying the United States needs to “use the resources we have here with our workforce, not fire them.” (Caroline Breiman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

According to the advertisement, the action can protect Drinking water supply Near Rapid City, South Dakota, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, the negative impacts of mineral exploration and development.

The two agencies will formally publish the proposal on March 21, which will open a 90-day period for public comment, during which stakeholders will be able to influence the action. Under federal law, Home Secretary Deb Haaland is authorized to withdraw public lands from mine leases for up to 20 years.

A Biden official issues a 20-year mining ban as he turns to foreign supply chain amid green energy push

“BLM is pleased to be working with the USDA Forest Service on this effort,” BLM Administrator Tracy Stone Manning said in a statement. “This proposal will help protect a key source of drinking water for residents of South Dakota, where the Forest Service is evaluating a 20-year withdrawal.”

“We’re going to study the feasibility of withdrawing land in the area, because any activity that might affect these vital resources deserves a thorough review,” Forest Service chief Randy Moore added.

A bull grazes near the Black Hills National Forest in Custer, South Dakota, July 8, 2020.

A bull grazes near the Black Hills National Forest in Custer, South Dakota, July 8, 2020. (Eric Paradat/AFP via Getty Images)

The potential 20-year withdrawal comes amid a multiyear approval process for a gold exploration project in the area proposed by Minneapolis-based miner F3 Gold. It also comes months after the Forest Service issued a draft decision allowing the company to explore on 3 acres and build some infrastructure under several restrictions, after extensive environmental review.

F3 Gold has pledged that it will not extract water from Rapid Creek’s watershed or use any hazardous chemicals, adding that it will not “initiate any project” that poses risks to regional water sources. It also made a series of land use and environmental stewardship commitments.

Green energy projects face strong environmental and national opposition

The company stated that the so-called Jenny Gulch Exploration Drilling Project will produce the necessary precious metals Green energy technology Such as solar panels, electric vehicle batteries, aviation equipment, and communications equipment.

“Gold is everywhere,” the company says on its website. “Because of its versatile characteristics, it is a vital component of technologies from virtually every economic sector in the United States, making it strategic and critical to our future.”

In addition, several companies have expressed interest in conducting exploratory drilling in the region for lithium, another key component of electric vehicle batteries, and uranium, which is essential for zero-emission nuclear power. Copper and silver deposits have also been found in the Black Hills.

Tracy Stone Manning, director of the Bureau of Land Management, listens during a Senate hearing on June 8, 2021.

Tracy Stone Manning, director of the Bureau of Land Management, listens during a Senate hearing on June 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“While we agree that renewable energy is key to combating climate change, we do not believe the Black Hills are a good location for new large-scale mines,” the Black Hills Clean Water Coalition, a local environmental group, states on its website. “And mining is a major contributor to carbon emissions and climate change. The Black Hills are unique ecologically, culturally, and historically and are the treaty home of the Lakota people.”

“The current local economy, which is based on agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation, is much more prosperous than one based on mining and does much less damage to the area’s land, wildlife, and water.”

On Friday, BLM and Forest Service admitted In their declaration that “the responsible development of domestic mineral supplies is important for the transition to a clean energy economy,” they said, however, that it was also important to protect natural resources.

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Overall, the United States produced about 170 metric tons of gold in 2022 despite its vast reserves of the precious metal, according to federal data. By comparison, China extracted 330 metric tons of gold, surpassing production levels in every other country for the second year in a row.

The International Energy Agency has repeatedly warned that aggressive green energy targets will only be met if countries support critical mineral supply chains. Green energy technologies such as electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines rely on lithium, cobalt, copper, nickel, graphite, zinc, and precious metals such as gold and silver.

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