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Cemex bill heads to committee

officials hope to address open-pit mining ban in front of Senate panel on energy, natural resources

Posted: April 21, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 21, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita city staff members are  hoping for a chance to appear before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee so it can weigh in on the importance of the Cemex bill, officials said Wednesday.

The bill was referred to a Senate committee on April 7, after Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced it to Congress.

Earlier versions of the bill have made it to the committee level before, but the trick is to keep it moving down the political track, said Michael Murphy, Santa Clarita’s intergovernmental relations officer.

“The key now is getting the bill heard by the committee,” he said Wednesday.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee is chaired by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., a Harvard University graduate who also chairs the Alliance to Save Energy.

Murphy hopes city staff can meet with the committee’s staff in the next 12 months.

“What I assume will happen is his staff will look at the bill, set up a meeting with Sen. Boxer and we will meet with the committee staff at some point after that,” Murphy said.

If successful, the act would resolve a years-long mining dispute between the city and Cemex by requiring the secretary of the interior to cancel current mining contracts in Soledad Canyon and prohibit future mining at the site.

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