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July 13, 2009
Senate Deals North State Harsh Economic Hand
Passage of SB 670 Means Bankrupt Businesses & Lost Jobs
 SACRAMENTO: Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) is extremely disappointed by actions taken by the State Senate today which could result in closed businesses and lost jobs in the 4th Senate District. The North State leader says the passage of SB 670 will place an outright ban on the practice of Suction Dredge Mining in all California rivers, streams and other tributaries, even though there is no scientific evidence or proof that the mining practice is harmful to the environment.
“Make no mistake about it,” said Senator Aanestad. “This bill has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with politics. This bill will cause economic hardship to the rural communities and the small business owners who depend on this industry as a source of income.”
There are over 325 small retail businesses in CA involved in small scale gold dredging, and many of these business owners have already informed Senator Aanestad that SB 670 will put them out of business. The ban will also have a big impact on the California-based manufacturers of gold dredges.
Senator Aanestad says small scale gold dredgers spend an estimated $60 million in CA’s rural economies in terms fuel, food, camping, diving equipment, hardware, and lodging purchases. He urged the State Senate to let scientific studies on suction dredge mining speak for themselves, rather than take a rash course of action that will cost jobs.
“The California Department of Fish & Game is currently studying the environmental impacts of this industry,” said Senator Aanestad. “That report is due this fall. Why don’t we let this study conclude, let Fish and Game make its recommendations, and then act on those proposals? That’s how the State Legislature should work.”
SB 670 passed off the Senate Floor with 28 votes, which means the ban on Suction Dredge Mining could take effect immediately if it is signed into law.
RADIO & TV STATIONS: .mp3 file format sound from Senator Aanestad recorded during today’s debate is attached to this release.

Jim (Alaska)
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              Page Updated: Wednesday July 15, 2009 01:54 AM  Pacific

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