GOP spending bill would overturn Grand Canyon uranium mining ban

The spending bill is slated to come up for a vote in a subcommittee of the House Appropriations panel Thursday. Read more about the bill here.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last month took emergency action to extend an existing ban on new uranium mining in the region for six months while the Interior Department mulls a plan to block mining on the land for 20 years. Salazar said the 20-year ban is the Interior Department’s “preferred alternative.”

The Interior Department proposed a two-year moratorium on the practice in the area around the Grand Canyon in 2009.

Republicans have blasted Salazar’s decision to extend the ban.

“Instead of using his executive power to create policies that foster greater energy independence he has done the exact opposite, driving us toward increased reliance on foreign resources,” said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) — chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee’s National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee — when Salazar announced the extension.

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