Mining Industry Worried About Democrat-Controlled Congress

Mining Industry Worried About Democrat-Controlled Congress

One of their top lobbyists is warning the US mining industry that the new Democrat controlled Congress will be largely hostile to their views on everything from taxes to environmental regulation.

Dan Gerkin sounded the alarm in Sparks in a speech Friday at the Northwest Mining Association’s 112th annual convention. The National Mining Association’s senior vice president for government affairs says the next two years will be extremely challenging for the mining industry on Capitol Hill.

Gerkin says new Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is a longtime friend and ally of the industry. But, in his words, “we’re going to have more critics and fewer friends in Congress.” He says it’s an understatement to say many of the new committee and subcommittee chairmen are NOT sympathetic to mining. He says the Republican losers in the Senate included five who he called “rock solid supporters” of the mining industry Conrad Burns of Montana, Jim Talent of Missouri, Mike DeWine of Ohio, George Allen of Virginia and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Gerkin says Reid has been supportive in the past but that he will be under pressure to toe the party line. Nevada Mining Association President Russ Fields says he shares concerns about what he says will be a much more liberal Democratic Congress. But he says he doesn’t worry about Reid’s support. He says Reid grew up the son of a hardrock miner and still remembers those days.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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