Gosar Jobs Bill Passes Committee--Heads to House Floor Bill Will Spur a 3,700+ Job Economic Development Project

Jul 13, 2011 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Natural Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 13, 2011

CONTACT:    Hannah Loy 202-225-2315

                                                                                                                                

Gosar Jobs Bill Passes Committee--Heads to House Floor

Bill Will Spur a 3,700+ Job Economic Development Project                      

Today’s vote in the House Natural Resources Committee is the first time this initiative has advanced to the full U.S. House of Representatives 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul Gosar’s (AZ-01) major job legislation, H.R. 1904, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011, was passed by the full Natural Resources Committee.  This vote was the last procedural step necessary before the legislation will be taken up by the full U.S. House of Representatives.

“This bill means new jobs to Arizona and domestic copper to the country.   Today’s full committee mark up brings Arizona’s First Congressional District one step closer to seeing this vital economic development project become a reality,” Rep. Gosar said. “I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee, and I am optimistic this legislation will be taken up by the full House of Representatives by the end of the year.” 

H.R. 1904 is legislation geared towards revitalizing the economy of Southeast Arizona and preserving and protecting Arizona’s natural treasures.  Specifically, the legislation authorizes a land exchange near Superior, Arizona located in Pinal County, opening up the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world. 

“This legislation initiates a long-awaited land exchange that will ultimately lead nearly 3,700 new jobs, providing for $220 million in annual wages for my constituents,” Rep. Gosar continued.   “The total economic impact of the project on the State of Arizona is estimated to be over $61.4 billion, nearly $1 billion per year, and another $20 billion in federal, state, county and local tax revenue.  In these tough fiscal times, this is exactly the type of legislation the United States Congress should be taking up expeditiously.” 

The resulting project will also significantly contribute to U.S. mineral and energy independence.  Today the United States imports 30 percent of its copper compared to 7 percent in 1993.  This project will produce up to 25% of the current U.S. demand.  That domestic source of copper is critical to increase development of alternative energies. For example, a single 3 megawatt wind turbine requires 4.7 tons of copper. 

The Gosar legislation is also a conservation bill. The land the federal government acquires in the exchange is highly-coveted recreational and conservation areas.  For example, the “Seven B” property, acquired by the federal government via the bill contains nearly 7 miles of the lower San Pedro River, as well as over 800 acres of ancient intact mesquite bosque representing what is probably the largest old-growth mesquite forest remaining in Arizona.

Although legislation regarding this matter has been introduced by members in the past, today’s full committee mark up is the first time the legislation has advanced to the full House of Representatives.  One amendment to Congressman Gosar’s original legislation was adopted during the Committee’s meeting.  The amendment simply made a few necessary technical corrections to the bill language. 

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