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Federal agency’s twenty-year mining ban may have serious consequences

In a post on ARPN expert Tracy Weslosky’s website InvestorIntel.com, Daniel McGroarty discusses the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s decision to take land in six states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah – off limits for mineral exploration for the next twenty years.

Essentially placing it in the same category of Federal recess appointments, which tend to escape Congressional and public scrutiny due to their timing, McGroarty embeds the decision into its twenty-year context and argues that the decision may have serious consequences for the United States’ competitiveness:

“Where will the next 20 years take us? As the last 20 make clear, we have no idea. Even at the slowed-down pace of Moore’s Law – with computing capacity taking 3 years to double, not 18 months, 20 years is more than 6 “Moore Cycles.” Whatever we’re doing now with a hand-held or laptop, we’ll be doing 64 times faster in 2033.

What metals and minerals will power these new advances? In what alloys and what quantities? Once more, we don’t know. But thanks to the BLM, we do know that these metals won’t be mined in their 6-state “no dig zone.” So the U.S. will simply import these metals from elsewhere – or, more likely, the products of 2033 will likely be built elsewhere, where the metals are — and sold to us. Can you say “negative balance of trade?” “Reduced competitiveness?” “Outsourced jobs?” “Lower GDP and higher federal debt?” Hardly the kind of future our political class promises us.

But it’s August. Who’s watching?”

To read the full post, in which McGroarty also points out the inherent irony of BLM’s decision, click here.