U.S. House Committee Hears Testimony On Save Oak Flat Bill

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 8:10am
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Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

The U.S. House Committee for Indigenous people held hearings Tuesday on Congressman Raul Grijalva’s bill to permanently protect Oak Flat from a proposed copper mine.

Shan Lewis, president of the Inter Tribal Association of Arizona, said the mine would consume billions of gallons of water. 

“And we are hearing stories of impending shortages on the Colorado River," Lewis said. "At the same time, people are moving here in record numbers. Yet this single mine project would deplete massive amounts of water from Arizona’s water supply. How can all this fit in Arizona’s long-term water future? The answer is it can’t.” 

Lewis said the mine would destroy land that a number of tribes consider sacred or culturally significant.