ANNUAL FLY-IN - April 4-8, 2011
The Women’s Mining Coalition 19th Annual Fly-In was completed the week of April 4-8, 2011. Thirty women from fourteen states participated, from Alaska to Wyoming, and many states in between. Industry representation included coal and hard-rock mining and exploration companies; utility, energy, and service companies; and manufacturers. Our participants also represented a diversity of job functions: engineers, geologists, hydrologists, plant managers, land managers, executives, analysts, consultants, and community relations and human resources specialists.
Here we are in DC!
Members of WMC met with members of Congress and/or their staff to discuss issues. WMC members were armed with packets containing one-page summaries of the main points that were given to the staff members visited by the groups.
The issues statements included the following:
Other Related Information and Links
NWMA Executive Director Laura Skaer Testifies at House Subcommittee Hearing : The Effect of the President’s FY 2012 Budget and Legislative Proposals on Private Sector Job Creation, Domestic Energy and Mineral Production and Deficit Reduction. (See the full text here.)
Jobs and Plant Losses from EPA's Proposed Air Regulations, National Mining Association, March 2011
Senator Bill Johnson in Natural Resources Committee about the Stream Protection Rule
And Great food, too!
Highlights of the trip included:
• We completed 156 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, natural resource, mining, and environmental staff members.
• Topics covered in the meetings included US mineral reliance, permitting, jobs, and EPA proposed regulations.
Below is a brief summary of comments we received from staff and members of Congress:
• The United States’ reliance on other countries for many essential minerals was a topic that WMC raised during the 2010 Fly-In. At that time, the graphic we used showing increasing reliance was one that had not been seen by many staffers. This year, WMC used the same graphic, updated to 2010 and contrasted to both 2009 and 1996. Not only did this graphic generate much relevant discussion of the problem, but it was not necessarily new to most staffers. This indicates that WMC has been successful in raising awareness of the issue on Capitol Hill.
• As in 2010, the need to generate more jobs was mentioned in most meetings, an indication that the economy is not rapidly improving. WMC members were able to point out that mining provides stable well-paying jobs that support families and communities throughout this country.
• The EPA has been on many members’ radar because of EPA’s blatant attempts to design policy without the approval of Congress. Most staffers we spoke to agreed that it is appropriate and necessary that Congress, not a solitary EPA, make decisions regarding mining regulations.
• Permitting delays are a problem that every participant understood and had experience with, from hard rock to coal miners, from power plant operators to vendors. The majority of staff we met with agreed that what has become a rat’s nest of permitting problems is bad for the domestic mining industry, as well as associated businesses.
Many thanks to our sponsors: Chevron, Peabody Energy, American Coal Council, InfoMine, Sumitomo Pogo Mine, and ACCCE. Thanks also go to the many companies who not only allowed, but encouraged, their employees to participate in this year’s Fly-In. Last, thank you to the WMC members who participated in the 2011 Fly-In; without your interest and determination, the Fly-In would not be possible.