by Jim Nintzel
Dan Shearer of the Green Valley News, with help from a hardworking UA journalism student on assignment at the state Capitol, continues to follow the news that Republican leaders at the Legislature are pimping on behalf of the Rosemont Mine, much to the dismay of state Sen. Jonathan Paton, who is well aware that the mine is unpopular among his Green Valley constituents.
Arizona Senate and House leaders praised the proposed Rosemont Copper mine as “a tremendous economic opportunity” in a letter to a federal official this week, saying they were writing “on behalf of the Arizona State Senate and House of Representatives.”
But after a day filled with criticism from Southern Arizona lawmakers, they backpedaled, saying the issue was "not as simple as we first thought."
Making it even more politically touchy: Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has been working to thwart the mine, also weighed in on the letter from state lawmakers:
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose Congressional District 8 includes the proposed mine site, criticized the letter in a statement Thursday, saying, “The legislators’ new-found interest in this open-pit mine neglects to address the serious and intractable economic, quality-of-life and environmental problems that would result if it were to go into operation.”