Last week, the Central Arizona Governments (CAG) Regional Council met for their monthly March meeting, where it voiced support for Resolution Copper and its subsequent land exchange bill.
One of the items on the agenda was a resolution requested by the Town of Superior for CAG to officially oppose the Resolution Copper Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013. The request came following the Town’s recent reversal of support for the Resolution Copper Mine and termination of the Mutual Benefits Agreement.
After lengthy debate on voting procedures and hearing comments from those in favor and against the project the council voted to remain in support of the bill. The San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Town of Superior voted against continuing regional support for the mine project.
Mayor Jayme Valenzuela normally represents the Town of Superior at the CAG meeting but stepped out and allowed Councilwoman Soyla “Kiki” Peralta to represent the Town during the land exchange agenda item. Members of the regional council all participated in the conversation, the Mayor for the City of Maricopa explained that he relies on the input from the other leaders in their areas when making regional decisions and if the majority of the communities in the area surrounding the project are supportive then he would remain supportive.
Other communities voting in favor of remaining in support of the mine project were: Payson, Queen Creek Winkelman, Kearny, Globe, Miami, Mammoth, Maricopa, Florence, Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Eloy, Pinal and Gila Counties.
The Regional Council heard comments from both sides of the issue before voting. Representatives from the Superior Copper Alliance presented the 400 signatures and letters of support for the project that the group collected for the House Natural Resources Committee. Residents of Queen Valley and Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Chairperson Roy Chavez also spoke in opposition of the project.
Rep. Paul Gosar attended the meeting and addressed the council. He also spoke of the support that was given to him and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick from the residents of Superior. He urged the Regional Council to continue supporting the project.
On Friday, following the CAG meeting, Gosar thanked the council in a statement.
“As this public declaration by more than a dozen local stakeholders reaffirms, this project is a win-win for Arizona. Together, we can promote job creation, decrease mineral and energy dependence, and bolster Arizona’s economy.”
Gosar said the reversal of the Superior Town Council was “deceitful and misguided.”