Posted by Megan Slack on January 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM EST
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was in Detroit on Monday, kicking off the opening of the North American International Auto Show and highlighting the resurgence of the American auto industry. Since Chrysler and GM emerged from bankruptcy in June of 2009, the auto industry has added 170,000 jobs—the best period of job growth for the industry in more than a decade.
When President Obama took office, the American auto industry was shedding jobs by the hundreds of thousands and GM and Chrysler faced the possibility of liquidation – which would have caused at least 1 million more jobs to be lost. The President made the tough choice to help provide the auto industry the temporary support it needed to grow and prosper.
Today, GM and Chrysler have repaid their government loans, and the “Big Three” automakers– GM, Ford, and Chrysler– are all adding jobs, generating profit, and investing in their U.S. facilities. Auto sales climbed in December for the seventh consecutive month and GM, Chrysler, and Ford saw their market share increase to over 47 percent in 2011, the second straight year that Detroit gained market share against their foreign competitors, something that had not previously happened since 1995.
This industry and our economy have a long way yet to go to repair the damage from this recession and return to full health. But the distance these companies and the auto industry have traveled over the past two years is a bright spot on the road to recovery.
Posted by Tom Vilsack on January 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM EST
Ed note: This post was originally published on the USDA blog
Yesterday at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting, I thanked about 10,000 farmers for helping to make U.S. agriculture a bright spot in our nation’s economy.
In the past few decades, U.S. agriculture has become the second most productive sector of the American economy, thanks to farmers adopting technology, reducing debt, and effectively managing risk. In 2011, America’s farmers, ranchers and producers achieved record farm income, record exports, and have helped to contribute to an unemployment figure in rural America that has fallen faster than in other parts of the country. Over the last three years, as USDA has made significant investments in rural America, we have also looked closely at the way we do business so that we are sustaining and enhancing the farm economy for generations to come. That is why today I introduced USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service—a plan that will help to preserve this success in the long term.
The Blueprint for Stronger Service takes a realistic view of the needs of American agriculture in a challenging budget climate, and lays out USDA’s plans to modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through use of innovative technologies and business solutions. To manage the $3 billion—or 12 percent—reduction Congress has made to discretionary funding for the Department since 2010, USDA looked closely at the way we do business. For example, some agencies put hiring controls in place and instituted early separation programs. These efforts, when coupled with regular retirement, meant nearly 7,000 employees have retired from USDA over the past 15 months. The plan is also part of the Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste, launched by President Obama and Vice President Biden to make government work better and more efficiently for the American people. The end result is a plan that will create optimal use of USDA’s employees, better results for USDA customers, and greater efficiencies for American taxpayers.
The USDA, like families and businesses across the country, cannot continue to operate like we did 50 years ago. We must innovate, modernize, and be better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars. We must be built to meet the evolving needs of a 21st century agricultural economy.
When fully implemented, the recommendations included in the Blueprint for Stronger Service will provide efficiencies valued at about $150 million annually—and eventually more based on future realignment of the workforce—and will ensure that USDA continues to provide optimal service to the American people within available funding levels.
A Blueprint for Stronger Service details a list of 133 recommendations that affirm processes already in place, as well as 27 initial improvements, and others aimed at longer-term improvements. The initial recommendations include the following:
- Consolidate more than 700 cell phone plans into about 10;
- Standardize civil rights training and purchases of cyber security products;
- Ensure more efficient and effective service to our employees by moving toward more centralized civil rights, human resource, procurement, and property management functions, creating millions of dollars in efficiencies without sacrificing the quality of our work.
Budget reductions, staff attrition and increased workload also necessitated a review of USDA facilities, offices and lab operations across the country. As a result, USDA will close 259 domestic offices, facilities and labs across the country, as well as seven foreign offices. In some cases, offices are no longer staffed or have a very small staff of one or two people; many are within 20 miles of other USDA offices. In other cases, technology improvements, advanced service centers, and broadband service have reduced some need for brick and mortar facilities.
American agriculture is currently experiencing its most productive period in history thanks to the resiliency, resourcefulness and efficiency of our farmers, ranchers and producers. As we move forward, USDA will continue to find ways to modernize its services, improve the customer experience, and ensure a successful, sustainable future for rural America.
Posted by Amy Brundage on January 10, 2012 at 6:00 AM EST
Yesterday, the North American International Auto Show kicked off in Detroit, with companies unveiling their new vehicles and folks eager to get their first peek. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was on hand for the opening events, and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and the Labor Department’s Director Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Jay Williams are all taking part in auto show activities this week.
The auto industry had a strong year in 2011. It’s easy to forget, but just a few years ago many people doubted whether there would even be an American auto industry in 2011.
When President Obama took office, we faced the worst recession since the Great Depression, and the American auto industry was hit hard. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost in the auto industry, and entire communities that depended on a dealership or a parts manufacturer were affected.
Both GM and Chrysler faced the stark choice of seeking government support or facing almost certain uncontrolled liquidations, which would have had a ripple effect across the industry, causing at least one million more jobs to be lost. The President refused to let that happen.
In the face of stiff opposition, the President made a tough choice to help provide the auto industry the temporary support it needed to rebuild their companies and get moving again. This was a difficult decision, and came with significant risk. But the President was not willing to walk away from these workers and this great American industry.
Today, the American auto industry is coming back, creating jobs and moving cars off the line. Last month, the automotive industry added nearly 11,000 positions, bringing the total number of jobs added in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 36,000. The industry added 100,000 jobs over the course of 2011.
Since Chrysler and GM emerged from bankruptcy in June of 2009, the auto industry has added back more than 170,000 jobs, the best period of job growth in more than a decade. While there’s more work to be done, it’s clear the auto industry is moving in the right direction.
In December, we saw auto sales climb for the seventh consecutive month. The Big Three — Ford, GM and Chrysler — all saw sale increases for December, and the year as a whole.
In addition, because of the President’s leadership, we have put in place historic higher fuel economy standards, which will save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and reduce oil consumption by 12 billion barrels. That means families will begin saving money at the pump this year.
But there’s a lot more work to do to get the American people back to work. The President will continue to fight to restore the economic security for the communities that were hit just a few years back, to strengthen the middle class and rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.
Folks in Detroit and in auto communities across the country know what it takes to get the job done. They know a little something about hard work. They know what it takes to fight to rebuild their community and we’ll continue to stand right by their side every step of the way.
This isn’t just a historic step for the hundreds of thousands of families who would be affected by this policy—it’s also a defining moment for this campaign.
Let the President know you stand with him in the fight for a smart, fair immigration system.
Under current law, undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens must leave the country to complete the immigration process—meaning thousands of families are separated every year while trying to pursue a legal path to citizenship.
The President’s plan would cut bureaucratic wait times and relieve an unfair burden on U.S. citizens who are unfairly separated from their loved ones during the legal immigration process. This proposal would build on other common-sense immigration reforms the President has put in place to help keep hardworking American families, who have played by the rules, together.
That’s why we need to have the President’s back in this fight—and the fights to come—in this election. Say you’ll stand with him today.
|The Big Banks have a lot to answer for. As their greed and recklessness gave us a devastating financial crisis, they also abused and defrauded consumers. There are 7.5 million homes that have entered the foreclosure process, with another 4.8 million homeowners at risk. It’s time to set things right—and not with a slap on the wrist for bankersand fraudsters.Unfortunately, some state attorneys general are considering just that—a small slap on the wrist, not real accountability. To get the best deal for homeowners, and to make sure the banks are held fully accountable, your voice needs to be heard.
Your attorney general has the power to hold the banks accountable. Tell the AG you want real accountability and not another giveaway.
The collapse of the housing market and widespread abuses of homeowners are holding back our economy. Misconduct by the nation’s biggest banks gave us the financial crisis, and your attorney general has the power to hold them accountable. A deal already is being considered—and we have to get this right. We can’t repeat the mistakes of the bailout process.
P.S. Have you checked out Working America‘s 9 Demands of the 99%? View eight commonsense solutions we need to fix the economy, add your own and sign on in support.
Avaaz activists have covertly compiled a harrowing report of crimes against humanity and it is making world headlines. If we now use it to build a massive call to the UN Security Council we could help bring a case against Assad and his henchmen before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and increase international pressure. The Security Council meets in days — sign now.
President Assad kicked out all foreign media and human rights organizations to conduct his bloodbath in the shadows. But the Avaaz team and members have covertly interviewed hundreds of victims and family members to create an authoritative count of tortured, imprisoned and killed. Our reports have been covered in dozens of news articles and shows – last week in the NYT, AP, CNN, and many more.
We’ve just released a powerful new report on torture that show links to top regime officials — with this evidence, we can help bring a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) that Assad and his henchmen are guilty of crimes against humanity. An indictment from the court would seriously increase the crippling international pressure that is beginning to unravel Assad’s rule. The UN Security Council meets in days and can refer a case to the ICC – let’s send them an avalanche of public demand for justice for Syria’s brave protesters — sign the petition below, and send a message to key Ambassadors:
It’s hard to even think about, but many Avaaz members have been among the tortured and killed, like Manhal*, held in a secret prison where they pulled out his fingernails and toenails and electrocuted his body parts. But they have been staggeringly brave, and kept on protesting peacefully.
The EU, US and Arab League states like Qatar have been pushing to get strong action, but rogue apologists like Russia have blocked international resolutions. The world hoped that the Arab League’s monitoring mission could push for change, but they have already been compromised and discredited. Despite witnessing Assad’s snipers first hand and listening to story after story of regime repression, today they have extended their observation period without calling for urgent action. But the Avaaz report is hitting the headlines — and ,if we all act now it could be the final evidence needed to topple the obstructers and end Assad’s bloodshed.
Let’s unite across the world to make sure our fellow Avaazers’ torture stories are heard and demand that the UN Security Council refer the brutal Assad regime to the International Criminal Court to be tried for crimes against humanity. Sign the petition below now and tell everyone:
Across the Arab World, people power has toppled dictator after dictator, and our amazing Avaaz community has been at the heart of these struggles for democracy, breaking the media blackouts imposed by corrupt leaders, empowering citizen journalists, providing vital emergency relief to communities under siege, and helping protect hundreds of activists and their families from regime thugs. Let’s not let Manhal’s suffering for freedom be in vain. Let’s demand the UN take action now.
With hope and determination,
Luis, Ian, Maria Paz, Ricken, Emma, Wissam, Heather and the whole Avaaz team
* – “Manhal’s” name has been changed to protect his identity.
Avaaz Detention Facilities Report
US slams Syria violence, says ‘past time’ for UN action (AFP)
France’s Sarkozy says Syrian president must quit after ‘massacres’ committed by his regime (Washington Post)
U.S. says Syria not living up to Arab League deal (Reuters)
Syria Runs Torture Chambers (Huffington Post)
“Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic” (UN Human Rights Council)
Mitt Romney, Job Killer
By ThinkProgress War Room on Jan 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm
The Romney Record at Bain: Bankruptcies, Bailouts, & Mass Layoffs
Mitt Romney’s pitch is that he’s a “businessman” who understands the “real economy,” in contrast to President Obama who Romney says “doesn’t understand how the economy works.” During a presidential debate in November, Romney reminded the audience of the source of his “real economy” experience: “I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years.” That quote has now been replayed thousands of times in Romney television ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida and has been viewed more than 168,000 times on YouTube.
Romney and his team also maximized returns by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits. Sometimes Bain investors gained even when companies slid into bankruptcy.
Romney himself became wealthy at Bain. He is now worth between $190 million and $250 million, much of it derived from his time running the investment firm, his campaign staffers have said.
Bain managers said their mission was clear. “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation,” said Marc B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain who worked closely with Romney for nine years before forming his own firm. “The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.”
Here’s the rundown on Mitt Romney’s devastating record as CEO of Bain Capital, a tenure marked by bankruptcies, bailouts, and mass layoffs — all while Romney and his partners raked in billions of dollars in profits for the firm and Romney himself amassed a quarter-billion dollar fortune.
Romney’s Bain Capital Caused Mass Layoffs, Sent Jobs Overseas
Thousands of Americans were laid off by Bain Capital at companies it purchased, managed, and, at least a quarter of the time, drove into bankruptcy. Here’s an infographic from Americans United for Change laying out some of the carnage:
In addition to jobs lost at companies that Romney and Bain drove into bankruptcy, other jobs were sacrificed to maximize profits or simply sent overseas.
A Bailout Caused by Bain Capital
ThinkProgress’ Travis Waldron explains how one Romney target had to be bailed out by a federal agency after it went bankrupt, even as Bain walked away with a handsome profit:
Romney, whose time as CEO of Bain Capital has been a centerpiece of his campaign, as he has criticized President Obama for not having experience in the “real economy,” opposed both the 2008 bank bailouts under President George W. Bush and Obama’s rescue of the auto industry. But when Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems went belly-up less than a decade after Bain became its majority stakeholder, the company, which had been in operation since 1888, had to turn to a federal insurance agency to bailout its pension program in large part because Bain had “saddled” it with “such a heavy debt load”:
Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 (258 pounds) a month.
What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.
Romney’s Bain Capital Made Billions While Bankrupting Nearly One-Quarter Of The Companies It Invested In
According to the Wall Street Journal, Romney and company drove nearly a quarter of the firms they bought into bankruptcy, but that didn’t stop them from raking in billions of dollars in profits at the same time:
The Wall Street Journal, aiming for a comprehensive assessment, examined 77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bain’s involvement and shortly afterward.
Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost. [...]
The Journal analysis shows that in total, Bain produced about $2.5 billion in gains for its investors in the 77 deals, on about $1.1 billion invested. Overall, Bain recorded roughly 50% to 80% annual gains in this period, which experts said was among the best track records for buyout firms in that era.[...]
Mr. Mehran, a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said the rate at which Bain’s target companies ran into trouble at some stage “seems large.”
Conservatives Attack Romney For “Looting” Companies, Firing Workers
It’s not just those who were laid off by Romney’s Bain and progressives who are now calling attention to his record at Bain Capital. In recent days, some of his 2012 rivals have stepped into the fray. ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes has a roundup of the latest attacks from right:
JON HUNTSMAN: “What’s clear is he likes firing people, I like creating jobs.” [1/9/12]
NEWT GINGRICH: “Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe that, in fact, the whole goals of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation, would find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever, legal ways to loot out a company.” [1/8/12]
RICK PERRY: “Now, I have no doubt Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company, Bain Capital, of all the jobs that they killed. I’m sure he was worried that he would run out of pink slips.” [1/9/12]
GINGRICH: Bain Capital was a “small group of rich people manipulating the lives of thousands of people, and taking all the money.” [1/9/12]
PRO-GINGRICH SUPER PAC: “A story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck. A group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney, more ruthless than Wall Street. For tens of thousands of Americans, the suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town.” [1/9/12]
GINGRICH: “I would just say that if Gov. Romney would like to give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, that I would be glad to listen to him.” [12/12/11]
A Golden Parachute for Mitt Romney
As the New York Times reported in December, Romney may have left Bain Capital more than a decade ago but he still enjoys millions of dollars a year in profits from the firm:
In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.
The arrangement allowed Mr. Romney to pursue his career in public life while enjoying much of the financial upside of being a Bain partner as the company grew into a global investing behemoth.
And because of an unfair tax loophole that Romney both supports and personally takes advantage of, he only pays a maximum tax rate of 15 percent — a far lower rate than many middle class workers. Since Romney still refuses to release his tax returns, we can’t say for sure just how low a rate he pays only that it is certainly lower than that paid by tens of millions of middle class Americans.
IN TWO SENTENCES: Mitt Romney has an economic agenda of, by, and for the wealthiest 1 Percent of Americans at the expense of the other 99 Percent. He may claim to be a job creator, but Romney’s record at Bain Capital shows that he personally made hundreds of millions of dollars by bankrupting companies and laying off thousands of Americans.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Mitt Romney today in New Hampshire: “I like being able to fire people who provide me with services.”
America tossed a children’s humanitarian aid worker in Gitmo for seven years.
Former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough says GOP has the “weakest presidential field they’ve seen in modern history.”
How college football bowl games earn millions in profits but pay almost nothing in taxes.
Six reasons progressives should care about agriculture policy.
Doctors call for a natural gas fracking moratorium.
Jon Huntsman rapped Mitt Romney for suggesting that a president should defer to his generals in making decisions about war and peace, saying that he would listen to the generals’ “input” but make his “own decision.”
A pro-Gingrich “super PAC” is launching a $3.4 million ad campaign portraying Mitt Romney as a greedy corporate raider during his time at Bain Capital.
The White House is denying an Iranian court’s verdict that Amir Mirza Hekmati, an Iranian-American dual citizen, was spying for the CIA and engaged in espionage.
Other recent Progress Reports
Jan 6, 2012: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Jobs, By the Numbers 2…the number of years of consecutive employment growth in manufacturing, after not one single year of growth between 1997 and 2010. 8.5 percent…the unemployment rate, the lowest since February 2009 just after President Obama took office. 22…the number of consecutive months of private sector job growth. 12,000…the number of public sector [...]
Jan 5, 2012: Rick Santorum’s Most Outrageous Campaign Moments
Rising GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is presenting himself to national audiences as a common sense conservative senator from a Democratic state with both economic and national security acumen. A late surge in Iowa led the former Pennsylvania senator to a near-win in that state’s caucuses and gave his campaign momentum ahead of next Tuesday’s [...]
Nearly 18 months after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency will finally have its first director. That’s because President Obama, using his power to make appointments during a congressional recess, announced today that he was appointing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray — [...]
Jan 3, 2012: Who Will Win The Iowa Caucuses?
Who Wins Tonight? The Wealthiest 1 Percent The true winner of the Iowa Caucus and the battle for the GOP nomination is the wealthiest 1 Percent of Americans. All of the Republican candidates share at least one thing in common: an economic agenda that will benefit the wealthiest 1 Percent of Americans at the expense of [...]
Help Ensure a Lasting Future for Wolves
A lone wolf is writing the next chapter on wolf recovery in the American West.
If OR-7 or any other wolves defy the odds and establish a pack in California, it will be a milestone in wolf recovery. But it will only be the beginning of a struggle for a lasting future.
Please donate now to help build on Defenders of Wildlife‘s more than 35 years of successful wolf recovery — and support our work to ensure a safe and lasting future for America‘s wolves and other wildlife.
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On Tuesday, January 24th, President Obama will give his State of the Union address.
All it takes is a little bit of time to prepare and some enthusiasm for bringing people together.
Making sure everyone watches the speech, and has the opportunity to connect as President Obama lays out his agenda for the next year, is an important part of our campaign plan.
How about it? Can you be the person who hosts the party in your community to watch the State of the Union?
These parties are easy to put together. You’ll be able to decide how many people you can comfortably host, and we’ll provide you with tools to promote the event. We’ll talk you through what to expect and how to prepare for that night — including a conference call with other hosts beforehand to share tips and ideas.
This requires a basic commitment from you, but no previous experience doing this kind of thing — even if you’ve never hosted an event like this before, the campaign staff will make sure you have the tools and resources you need to make your party successful.
A party in your neighborhood is one big way to energize the campaign where you live. We’re aiming to have thousands of parties like it across the country.
But it will only happen if someone steps up to make it happen. Sign up here if you can host:
Thanks for all you do,
National Field Director
http://www.barackobama.com/jobs?source=footer-nav … Obama Biden campaign jobs
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January 09, 2012 3:28 pm ET
Secretary Salazar Announces Decision to Withdraw Public Lands near Grand Canyon from New Mining Claims
Allows for monitoring to determine impact of uranium mining on vital watershed
Contact: Adam Fetcher, (DOI) 202-208-6416
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced his decision to protect the iconic Grand Canyon and its vital watershed from the potential adverse effects of additional uranium and other hardrock mining on over 1 million acres of federal land for the next 20 years.
Secretary Salazar’s decision will provide adequate time for monitoring to inform future land use decisions in this treasured area, while allowing currently approved mining operations to continue as well as new operations on valid existing mining claims.
“A withdrawal is the right approach for this priceless American landscape,” Salazar said. “People from all over the country and around the world come to visit the Grand Canyon. Numerous American Indian tribes regard this magnificent icon as a sacred place and millions of people in the Colorado River Basin depend on the river for drinking water, irrigation, industrial and environmental use. We have been entrusted to care for and protect our precious environmental and cultural resources, and we have chosen a responsible path that makes sense for this and future generations.”
The Public Land Order to withdraw these acres for 20 years from new mining claims and sites under the 1872 Mining Law, subject to valid existing rights, is authorized by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. A Record of Decision was signed by the Secretary today during a ceremony held at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.
The withdrawal does not prohibit previously approved uranium mining, new projects that could be approved on claims and sites with valid existing rights. The withdrawal would allow other natural resource development in the area, including mineral leasing, geothermal leasing and mineral materials sales, to the extent consistent with the applicable land use plans. Approximately 3,200 mining claims are currently located in the withdrawal area.
“The withdrawal maintains the pace of hardrock mining, particularly uranium, near the Grand Canyon,” said Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, “but also gives the Department a chance to monitor the impacts associated with uranium mining in this area. It preserves the ability of future decision-makers to make thoughtful decisions about managing this area of national environmental and cultural significance based on the best information available.”
During the withdrawal period, the BLM projects that up to 11 uranium mines, including four that are currently approved, could still be developed based on valid pre-existing rights – meaning the jobs supported by mining in the area would increase or remain flat as compared to the current level, according to the BLM’s analysis. By comparison, during the 1980s, nine uranium mines were developed on these lands and five were mined out. Without the withdrawal, there could be 30 uranium mines in the area over the next 20 years, including the four that are currently approved, with as many as six operating at one time, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) estimates.
The withdrawn area includes 355,874 acres of U.S. Forest Service land on the Kaibab National Forest; 626,678 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands; and 23,993 acres of split estate – where surface lands are held by other owners while subsurface minerals are owned by the federal government. The affected lands, all in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon or Grand Canyon National Park, are located in Mohave and Coconino Counties of Northern Arizona.
“The decision made today by the Secretary will help ensure continued protection of the Grand Canyon watershed and World Heritage designated Grand Canyon National Park,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As stewards of our national parks, it is incumbent on all of us to continue to preserve our treasured landscapes, today and for future generations.”
Today’s decision is the culmination of more than two years of evaluation during which the BLM analyzed the proposed withdrawal in an EIS prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service.
Numerous cooperating agencies, tribes, counties and stakeholders were fully engaged in this process, which included an extensive public involvement period which generated more than 350,000 comments, including input from more than 90 countries. Substantive comments, including those on the economic impact discussion, were addressed in the Final EIS, released on October 27, 2011 for a final 30-day review period.
Information on the withdrawal is at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/mining/timeout.html or can be obtained by calling (602) 417-9504.