Mining has always been an important part of Montana’s economy. On our state flag, you’ll see a pick and shovel, representing Montana’s mining industry. Beneath it are the words, “oro y plata,” or gold and silver. Currently, Montana’s mines produce copper, palladium, gold, and talc. Far from being a remnant of an archaic era typified by mules and solitary miners panning gold, our minerals are essential for the modern economy, including the palladium for catalytic converters, gold for high-tech devices, and the copper for nearly every electronic device.
Mining in Montana currently provides more than three thousand jobs, and pays those three thousand employs more than 300 million dollars. An additional 37 million dollars is infused into our economy by mining speculation alone. Mines also fund our state budget, as mines pay metal mines taxes, Resource Indemnity and Groundwater taxes, state lands fees, state lands royalties, property taxes, and corporate income tax. In total, mining companies pay 44 million dollars in taxes each year.
Many of these mines are on public property managed by the federal government. But if Joe Biden’s Interior Secretary has anything to say about it, these mines will close in order to benefit the Greater Sage Grouse.
The birds are slightly larger than a ring-necked pheasant but smaller than a wild turkey. Sage-grouse are emblematic of the American West, their only habitat. The Obama Administration first posited the idea of banning mining on public lands managed by the federal government, but the Trump Administration interrupted those plans. But now, the Biden Administration’s Interior Department, led by “environmental justice warrior,” Deb Halaand (she believes that climate change is “racist”), is set to kill Montana mining on public lands in order to save the bird.
Lands affected by the proposed rule include 10 million acres in Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The U.S. Geological Survey has said that the bird population is down 65% since the mid-1980s due to ranching and grazing. There have been no studies that have indicated mining is a cause for the reduction in the birds’ numbers.
Ultimately, the Biden Administration is looking for a reason – any reason at all – to keep Americans from being self-sufficient. It is important, for Biden’s convictions of globalism to be fulfilled, to keep the United States from energy independence so as to entangle us in a New World Order led by corporate interests around the world. Additionally, Biden is actively seeking to inflict damage upon the regions of the country occupied by patriots and Trump supporters, and damaging our mining industry for the sake of a bird. Combined with deep environmental extremist sympathies, this environment has been a perfect storm for parts of the country that make a living by producing from the earth’s resources.
And so far as the bird is concerned, a study as little as six years ago by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that the bird “remains relatively abundant and well-distributed across the species’ 173-million acre range and does not face the risk of extinction now or in the foreseeable future” (see below).