Will Trump Overturn the Ban on Uranium Mining Around the Grand Canyon? – by Antonia Noori Farzan (Phoenix New Times – May 28, 2017)


The news that President Donald Trump is planning to review and possibly scrap some of the national monuments put in place by his predecessor makes it clear — if it wasn’t already — that he’s not a big fan of anything that President Obama did, or of the outdoors. (Aside from golf courses, that is.)

So it’s understandable that environmentalists are worried that the Obama administration’s moratorium on uranium mining in the area surrounding the Grand Canyon could be up next on the chopping block. That moratorium was announced by the Department of the Interior in 2012, and banned new uranium claims until 2032. Existing claims and mines were unaffected.

It was great news to environmental groups like the Grand Canyon Trust, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters, who had spent years pointing out the environmental hazards of uranium mining — particularly the threat of polluting the Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people in Arizona and the Southwest.

But back in March, Trump signed an executive order promoting “energy independence and economic growth.” It requires heads of each government agency to identify any federal guidelines that are getting in the way of domestic energy production, and tell him which ones can legally be reversed.

“The report shall include specific recommendations that, to the extent permitted by law, could alleviate or eliminate aspects of agency actions that burden domestic energy production,” the executive order states.

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