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June 12, 2014

Harry Reid Nets $1.7 Million in Sale of Mining Rights, Possibly Benefiting From Friendly Relationship with Mining Industry

I didn't know the government collects no royalties whatsoever from minerals mined from federal lands.

I think that's one of the many things Harry Reid doesn't want you to know.

Harry Reid's office actually objected to this Free Beacon piece, noting the lands sold by Reid were private, not federal, and therefore could not be directly tied to the special deals afforded mining interests (which permits them to mine federal minerals for free, essentially).

That's a fair point, but then, Reid is obviously in the pocket of these interests, and it's a worthwhile endeavor to look into this deal.

Decades of legislative work by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) on behalf of Nevada’s gold mining industry culminated this week when he sold the rights to a number of mines and moved to Las Vegas.

Reid pulled down $1.7 million on the sale, which included the mineral rights to 10 mines and 110 acres of land in Searchlight, Nev.

Reid has worked for decades to preserve the carve-outs for mining companies in the General Mining Law of 1872, allowing those companies to forego an estimated $100 million to $200 million in annual royalty payments to the federal government.

What's interesting to me, here, is the contrast of Reid's position on mining on federal lands -- Friends of Harry do not have to pay royalties on the mineral wealth extracted from federal lands -- and his position on grazing on federal lands -- Not-Friends of Harry must pay very large grazing fees for doing so.



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