From left to right: Lexie Brundin, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, Catherine Stewart, Cheri Reiman, and Wanda Burget meet in the Congresswoman's Washington, D.C. office to discuss issues of concern to the mining industry.
WMC 17th Annual Fly-In to Washington, D.C.
The Women's Mining Coalition's 17th Annual Fly-In was completed the week of May 4-8, 2009. Thirty-three women participated, flying in to Washington, D.C. from Alaska to Maryland and many states in between. Industry representation included coal mining and hardrock companies, utility, energy and service companies, mining intelligence and technology, environmental control companies, and manufacturers. Our participants also represented many job functions - environmental and mining engineers, geologists, plant managers, heavy equipment operators, executives, consultants, and administrative staff.
Highlights of the trip included:
- We completed close to 200 Senate and House visits, including those that the participants scheduled with their specific legislators on their own initiative and many brief visits, during which we delivered our material to relevant energy, mining, and environmental staff members.
- Topics covered in the meetings included Mining Law Reform, Clean Coal Technologies (Carbon Capture and Sequestration), the Clean Water Restoration Act and the Clean Water Protection Act, Climate Change legislation, mining industry job creation and the economy.
Below is a summary of the comments we heard back from staff and Members of Congress:
- While many offices support Climate Change legislation, most do not support the Waxman-Markey Act as written. There is overwhelming concern about the timing of caps and the potential for significant costs being passed down to the consumer. States that rely heavily on coal-generated electricity are very concerned about additional job losses due to higher electrical rates.
- Many offices expressed concern over the states losing of their water rights to the federal government through the Clean Water Protection Act. Especially states with large agricultural, industrial minerals, and mining sectors.
- Members and staff were receptive to the concerns we voiced about both House and Senate Mining law Reform bills, including those concerns relative to net royalty, AML funding, and duplicative environmental regulations. We stressed that congress needs to pass MLR legislation that supports a strong domestic mining industry, keeping jobs and revenues here in the U.S.
- Our members addressed several coal related issues, including valley fill, mountaintop mining, and 404 permit delays to coal production permits. We illustrated that these issues and the confusing legislative processes at work, are causing uncertainty, loss of jobs and revenues, and concerns over national security issues and greater foreign reliance for our energy needs.
Many thanks to Peabody Energy for hosting the WMC reception on Tuesday night, Joy Mining Machinery for donating the WMC magnetic name badges and orange totes, The National Mining Association for their guidance and support leading up to the week and throughout, and to the many companies who supported their employees attendance at the Fly-In.