Weds Hed(lines)s: Court favors Grand Canyon uranium; Biden wants mine reform; oil-gas go gangbusters; coal just won't die...yet
And more Western briefs
A federal appeals court shot down a bid by Arizona environmentalists and the Havasupai Tribe to stop Energy Fuels from opening its Pinyon Plain Mine (née Canyon Mine) just outside Grand Canyon National Park. The mine sits in the Kaibab National Forest within the area where the Obama administration implemented a ban on new mining claims. But the ban doesn’t apply to the Pinyon Plain Mine claims because they had been made long before the ban was in place. The tribe and environmental groups sued the Forest Service for granting a permit to an operation that could taint aquifers that feed springs in the Grand Canyon. The ruling ends this particular legal challenge, but doesn’t preclude future ones from being made.
While “active,” the Pinyon Plain Mine is currently dormant due to persistently low uranium prices. And though the court ruling was a victory for Energy Fuels — the Canada-based mining company that operates the White Mesa Uranium Mill in Utah — the omission of uranium from the federal government’s list of “critical minerals” puts a cloud over the company’s celebrations.
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