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Time is now to show support for Soledad Canyon Mine Act

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Posted: May 26, 2008 1:01 a.m.
Updated: July 27, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Now that U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon's Cemex compromise legislation has been introduced in the House as HR 5887, Santa Clarita Valley officials and residents need to show our support for it, and help keep it on track until it becomes the law of the land.

HR 5887, the Soledad Canyon Mine Act of 2008, would cancel two contracts the global mining company Cemex holds with the federal Bureau of Land Management for large-scale mining in the Soledad Canyon area. In exchange, Cemex would be given thousands of acres of BLM-controlled land in Victorville equivalent to the value of the contracts.

Cemex would then be able to sell the land to the city of Victorville and other private buyers for purposes other than mining. Such a sale would be a separate agreement between those two parties.

Cemex, the cities of Santa Clarita and Victorville, and McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, all call HR 5887 a "win-win."

Upon introduction, the bill was referred to both the House Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, and the Committee on Ways and Means for consideration of provisions which fall within each committee's jurisdiction.

Citizens can read the complete text and track the bill's progress by visiting http://thomas.loc.gov/
and typing HR 5887 into the "search bill text" field.

There are several key players who need to know now that the community supports the proposed legislation:

- "Buck" McKeon, by writing or phoning him at 2351 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (call (202) 225-1956), or his local office, 26650 The Old Road #203, Santa Clarita, CA 91381-0757 (call (661) 254-2111). Online, it's http://mckeon.house.gov/lets_talk.shtml.

- Mike Murphy, Santa Clarita's intergovernmental relations officer, who is coordinating the city's lobbying effort in Washington on the bill's behalf. He's at City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Phone (661) 255-4384 or e-mail mmurphy@santa-clarita.com.

- Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) at
1324 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515 (phone (202) 225-6065 or fax (202) 225-1931).

- The next senior member of the committee, George Miller (D-Calif.), at 2205 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (phone (202) 225-2095, fax (202) 225-5609 or visit http://georgemiller.house.gov/contactus/).

- Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (R-N.Y.) at 1102 Longworth House Office Building, Washington D.C. 20515 (phone (202) 225-3625, fax (202) 225-2610 or visit http://waysandmeans.house.gov/contact.asp).

- Bureau of Land Management Director James Caswell by phone (202)
208-3801 or e-mail James_Caswell@blm.gov.

- Caswell's boss, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, at the Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street N.W., Washington DC 20240 (phone (202) 208-3100 or visit http://www.doi.gov/contact.html).

- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) by mail or phone at 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510-0504 (call (202) 224-3841 or fax (202) 228-3954) or her local office at 11111 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (call (310) 914-7300). E-mail: senator@feinstein.senate.gov.

- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) by mail or phone at 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510 (call (202) 224-3553) or her local office at 312 N. Spring Street, Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (main number is (213) 894-5000; fax (213) 894-5012). E-mail: senator@boxer.senate.gov.

We encourage you to contact each of them, and make your voice be heard. By taking part in the process, you can help insure HR 5887 will have the best possible chance to pass.

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