The first of Arizona’s 5Cs speaks to the importance of mining in our history and our current economy: Copper. According to the Arizona Mining Association, as of 2014, 12,000 people are employed in mining in Arizona, and tens of thousands more are employed in industries that support mining, Mining contributes more than $4 billion to the state’s economy.
The best way to protect this economic prosperity is by limiting the risk of mining accidents and environmental damage. This preserves the mining industry image in the public’s eye and saves countless millions of dollars paid out by private businesses and the taxpayer for compensation and clean up.
Mishaps from uranium mining in the four corners region alone has cost taxpayers more than 100 million dollars, and the spending is far from over. Imagine what we could have done with that money if only these mines had been operated more safely.
It is estimated that due to State regulations, the mining industry is not required to keep enough money on hand to clean up a mine spill. Stephen Nash, author of “Grand Canyon For Sale” estimates that companies are billions of dollars behind in necessary funding. If a spill happens, if a mining company bankrupts, it is you and me, the taxpayer of Arizona, who will be on the financial hook for the clean up.
The mine inspector cannot change those laws, but the inspector can help ensure mines operate safely so spills don’t happen in the first place.
Paid for by Pierce for Mine Inspector, Authorized by William "Bill" Pierce