House passes bill to block Cemex mine in California

By |  December 15, 2014

The House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at blocking the development of the proposed Cemex sand-and-gravel mine in Canyon Country, Calif., according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, has been working for more than two decades to block the mine and has introduced eight bills working toward a solution. His most recent bill is the Soledad Canyon Settlement Act.

“This tremendous achievement is the result of more than two decades of tireless work to develop a practicable solution that would take the Soledad Canyon Mine out of commission and lift this burden off of the backs of my constituents,” says McKeon, the bill’s sponsor.

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate. According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has also introduced legislation aimed at resolving the Cemex mine issue. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, praised the bill’s bipartisan support.

“This is the way government is supposed to work,” Sherman says. “I mean, there aren’t too many folks here in Washington with a more liberal reputation than Barbara Boxer or a more conservative reputation than ‘Buck’ McKeon, and yet they have identical legislation introduced in both of their houses.”

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, California city officials have said the mine would pollute Santa Clarita Valley air and “choke Highway 14 with gravel trucks.” If passed, the bills from Boxer and McKeon would result in the Bureau of Land Management canceling mining contracts held by Cemex and prohibiting future mining on the site.

Both the city of Santa Clarita and Cemex have shown support for the arrangement, says the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

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