Take five minutes and make a difference!
Published October 28, 2011

Take five minutes and make a difference! See below for details.

Pima County residents need jobs now. More than 20% of our neighbors live below the poverty line. The best weapon against the war on poverty is a job.

Rosemont Mine is poised to deliver 1,500 construction jobs and 465 permanent jobs (averaging $60,000 per year) when its mining operation is approved by the US Forest Service. There will be an additional 1,600 indirect jobs created at companies that supply Rosemont. The estimated economic impact on our community is $9 billion. Pima County will realize $3.5 million in new property tax revenue per year for twenty years.

Rosemont has enlisted 21st century technology to meet or exceed all regulations required by the US Forest Service and has committed itself to be a responsible neighbor and steward of the environment.

Despite Rosemont’s commitments, Pima County officials appear to be delaying and working against Rosemont and the creation of these new jobs. It is time concerned business owners and citizens sent a message to the Pima County Board that we need jobs and we need them NOW.

Make your voice heard the easy way. Simply copy and paste the letter below into an e-mail and send it to the Pima County Administrator, Board of Supervisors and copy Jim Upchurch at the US Forest Service.

Together we can make a difference!

Michael V. Varney
President & CEO
Tucson Metro Chamber

Honorable Administrator and Supervisors —

I am writing to you to let you know that my company, my employees and my neighbors want elected county officials to support the creation of jobs, not obstruct or otherwise oppose job creation.

The Rosemont Mine has been asked to operate according to established and objective regulation overseen by the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies. Rosemont has already demonstrated environmental sensitivity and has committed to fully comply with or exceed all that is required of it by regulatory agencies.

Assuming these requirements are met, there is no valid reason for the Pima County Board of Supervisors to oppose, obstruct or delay the Rosemont Mine project. Opinions about the impact of Rosemont on air, water and environment are just that: opinions. Let the objective metrics of the US Forest Service be the determining factor. We expect our elected officials to do what is best for its citizens and right now Pima County citizens need jobs. That is a fact!

People to contact:

District 1
Ann Day

District 2/Chairman
Ramon Valadez

District 3
Sharon Bronson

District 4
Ray Carroll

District 5
Richard Elias

Coronado Nat’l Forest
Jim Upchurch

County Administrator
Chuck Huckelberry

Come Support Rosemont At The Forest Service Public Meetings
Published October 21, 2011

The Coronado National Forest Service is planning to host the following public meetings to share information about and take comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Rosemont Project. Each meeting will include both informational sessions and comment sessions.

Please come and voice your support for Rosemont!

  • December 1st, 2011 5:00p, to 9:00 PM
  • Corona Middle School, 16705 S. Houghton Road, Tucson, AZ
  • December 7, 20 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Benson High School, 360 S. Patagonia Street, Benson, AZ
  • December 8, 2011, 12:30 to 4:00 p.m
  • Green Valley Recreation Center West, 1111 S. Via Arcoiris, Green Valley, AZ
  • December 10, 2011, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Elgin Elementary School, 23 Elgin Rd., Elgin, AZ
  • January 14th, 2011, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Sahuarita High School,350 W. Sahuarita Rd., Sahuarita, AZ

It is important that we make a strong show of support, so please attend.
If you plan on speaking please take a look at these suggested talking points!

Click here for a list of talking points

Tucson Metro Chamber, business community and job seekers demand answers from Pima County regarding Rosemont Copper
Published October 20, 2011

Tucson Metro Chamber
Media Contact: Mike Varney, President & CEO
Tucson Metro Chamber – 520-792-2250, x131

For Immediate Release
October 12, 2011

Rosemont Copper has undergone a five-year study and review by nearly every level of government led by the U.S. Forest Service. The Tucson Metro Chamber has reviewed the Rosemont plans and determined it would be a good thing for the people of Pima County – a 21st century mine with 2,000 jobs and a lot of local spending and tax revenue. Those are numbers we cannot ignore.

Needless to say, the Tucson Metro Chamber (and many other groups and citizens) were disappointed again by Pima County’s recent actions to stall the development of the mine. In a recent edition of Inside Tucson Business, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry was quoted as saying, “To elevate our (the County’s) role as one to stop this project is grandiose.”

If Mr. Huckelberry dismisses his role and the county’s role as being one of leadership, then what is his role?

Common sense says there are only three roles our county can play: lead, follow or get out of the way.

The U.S. Forest Service has the ultimate decision making authority in approving the manner of operation for Rosemont. And so it would seem that the Forest Service owns the leadership role. By process of elimination, the two choices remaining for Pima County are “following” or “getting out of the way”.

“Following” would infer that the role of Pima County’s Air Quality Control District (AQCD) of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is to comply with the prescribed process by doing its air quality permitting according to the schedule required by the application process. But Pima County appears unable to follow the rules. The County has missed the deadline specified in the federal program.

It’s kind of like the kid who just can’t seem to turn in his homework on time. However, in this case, the penalty isn’t being sent to the principal’s office, but rather answering lawsuits filed by Rosemont to force the County to follow the rules. According to Inside Tucson Business, hiring “outside consultants” to check on Rosemont (a role that is being performed by the Forest Service and any number of other governmental agencies) has now drained more than $70,000 from the taxpayer’s pocket. So the County clearly isn’t “following”. And instead of following its own rules, AQCD decided to make up its own new rules and denied the permit.

That leaves just “getting out of the way”.

With all due respect, we kindly ask that Pima County get out of the way. You aren’t leading. You aren’t following. You’re being an obstructionist. Your demands for mitigation are unreasonable. You are asking Rosemont to do something not called for by the Forest Service and something no other mining company has ever done (fill in the open pit).

Pima County will be paid millions in tax revenues by Rosemont ($3.5 million a year in property taxes and a $1.1 million one-time construction sales tax). Perhaps the County has a different number in mind, but the millions it will receive can make a real difference in our community now.

The Rosemont Mine application has demonstrated environmental sensitivity beyond anything called for in U.S. Forest Service regulations. Once in operation, it will have to comply with the strictest mining regulations in the world. Rosemont’s mining and mitigation processes rely on 21st century technologies including the use of solar energy and revegetation techniques recommended by the University of Arizona. The estimated economic impact on Pima County over the 20-year life expectancy of the mine is north of $9 billion. Perhaps most importantly, 465 badly needed direct jobs and 1,600 indirect jobs are stalled as Pima County continues to obstruct the application process. This does not include the 1,500 construction jobs required over a two year period to build the facility.

You say you aren’t leading, Mr. Huckelberry, and it is now clear that the County’s PDEQ obviously hasn’t been following instructions or meeting deadlines under the supervision of the Board of Supervisors. Yet, it appears you are not “getting out of the way” either.

It’s time for Pima County to think about the citizens it is supposed to represent. Lead. Follow. Get out of the way. For the sake of the families who need the paychecks, the Pima County coffers that need the revenue and a community that is weary of government agencies stifling economic vitality, we ask that Administrator Huckelberry, Chairman Valadez and Supervisors Bronson, Day, Carroll and Elias reconsider their obstruction and expedite the Rosemont approval process.

About The Tucson Metro Chamber

The mission of the Tucson Metro Chamber is to promote a strong local economy. The Tucson Metro Chamber is a membership-based business advocacy and networking organization that represents more than 1,350 businesses, employing more than 105,000 employees in the greater Tucson area. Small business makes up approximately 85 percent of Chamber membership, which mirrors the overall Tucson area business community.

LARON sends letter to Pima County
Published October 15, 2011

Glen Thoroughman, President of Laron sent a strong letter to Ursula Kramer, Director of Pima County Department of Environmental Quality. This letter emphasizes the importance of supporting companies like Rosemont, companies that have a strong commitment to the environment as well as local community.

Click here to read this well written letter