The General Mining Law of 1872

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Polluter of Water, Provider of Pork

From the facsheet:

Overview

The 1872 Mining Law is one of the last remaining dinosaurs of the old West.

Signed by President Ulysses S. Grant over 130 years ago, this law still governs hardrock mining on federal public lands, even though other national policies and popular opinion have changed.

Passed to encourage development of the West via mineral exploitation, this antiquated law allows private companies to take valuable minerals, including gold, copper, and uranium from public lands without payment to the owners and with little consideration for communities and the environment.