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MINING LAW REPEAL LEGISLATION COSTS JOBS AND REVENUES, STUDY SHOWS

MINING LAW REPEAL LEGISLATION COSTS JOBS AND REVENUES, STUDY SHOWS
 SPOKANE, Wash., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Legislation introduced to repeal the General Mining Law of the United States would threaten as many as 30,000 jobs nationwide, including 5,272 in Idaho, Montana and Washington, results of a study released today showed.
 "The bottom line is clear. The Mining Law repeal effort will cost American jobs and will not generate revenue, as repeal proponents contend," American Mining Congress (AMC) President John A. Knebel said at a news conference releasing the study's findings.
 The study, prepared by the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand and the law firm of Davis, Graham & Stubbs, offers the first comprehensive examination of the financial repercussions of legislation pending in Congress by Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.) and Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.), provisions of which would increase fees and add royalty payments to mined minerals.
 "Both proposals, if enacted, will radically change mining as we know it in the United States," Knebel said.
 The study concludes, in part, that, "The bills so thoroughly alter the way minerals may be developed in the United States that they introduce considerable uncertainty to the industry. ... The bills shake the very foundation of America's industrial base."
 The Mining Law gives citizens the right to enter public lands, explore for minerals, and upon their discovery, perfect ownership of the mining location.
 "In today's economy, we cannot allow bumpersticker rhetoric to drive away more American jobs and revenues," Knebel said. "The United States cannot afford a mistake here."
 Given today's economic conditions and assuming the legislation already had been in place, here is what the study showed the mining industry in Washington and Idaho would look like today:
 -- With the fee and royalty provisions in place, some mines would never have been built and other expenditures would not have occurred, costing 1,026 jobs in Idaho, 2,453 jobs in Montana and 1,793 jobs in Washington.
 -- With the legislation proposed by Bumpers in place, the federal government would have suffered a net loss of approximately $230 million per year, while legislation proposed by Rahall would cost the federal treasury more than $125 million annually in lost revenue and increased expenditures.
 -- Economic activity would stall in the 12 western states where most of the mining on public lands occurs. Under the proposed legislation, Idaho would lose $118.9 million worth of economic activity per year; Montana, $258 million; and Washington, $186.7 million.
 "State treasuries depend on the mining industry for income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and mine production taxes," Knebel said. "In the end, taxpayers will be asked to find some way to replace what had been a dependable source of revenue supporting the schools, hospitals and highways in their states."
 While hardrock mining pays no royalty under the Mining Law, it returns millions of dollars annually to federal and state governments in the form of severance and other taxes specific to mining, corporate taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes. A royalty, however, would increase the cost of mining, making some mining projects so expensive they will be abandoned.
 "It is clear that miners are not the only people affected when a mining project is killed. The dominoes fall in every facet of our economy," Knebel said.
 The study was based on more than 10,000 pages of data concerning 75 mining projects of 35 U.S. mining companies. Researchers used a modeling system developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to evaluate economic impact on a regional basis based on actual mining industry experience and assuming current economic conditions.
 The American Mining Congress is the principal trade association of the mining industry in the United States.
 -0- 1/29/92
 /CONTACT: Keith Knoblock of American Mining Congress, 202-861-2851/ CO: American Mining Congress ST: Washington IN: MNG SU: LEG


TW -- DC030 -- 4882 01/29/92 16:04 EST
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Date:Jan 29, 1992
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