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MINING CONGRESS STANDS BY STUDY

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To the editor:

An article in your May 23 edition, "Congress assails industry's study on impacts of amending 1872 law," offered mining critics an open invitation to attack a study commissioned by the American Mining Congress under the guise of a faulty thumbnail analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).We stand behind our study's conclusions 100 percent.

If anything, the AMC study, prepared by the accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand and the law firm Davis, Graham & Stubbs, underestimated the negative economic impacts of legislation to repeal the mining law, which governs hardrock mining on public lands.

The CBO analysis, requested by Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., a proponent of mining law repeal, contains no independent empirical data and reaches conclusions based upon speculation.

The CBO even admits that its analysis "is qualitative; that is, CBO has not developed independent estimates of the economic effects of the two bills."

Still, the CBO analysis was enough to prod those who want to see the mining law repealed to once again wheel out their tired and untruthful rhetoric.

The mining law is too important to the economic well-being of the United States to allow this empty analysis to go unchecked.

John A. Knebel

President

American Mining Congress