The announcement Monday by Interior Secretary Salazar concerning mining lease withdrawal in northern Arizona created a firestorm of comments from political and environmental representatives.

“Once again, Secretary Salazar has mandated an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach, handed down in a way that interferes with a stakeholder-driven process,” said Congressman Jim Matheson, following the decision by the Secretary of Interior to withdraw public lands in Northern Arizona from new mining claims. “By his own admission, ‘numerous cooperating agencies, tribes, counties and stakeholders were fully engaged in this process’ and yet one Washington, D.C. individual decides the policy.”

“Today’s announcement by the Interior Department shows how much this administration just doesn’t get it,” said Senator Orrin Hatch. “Mining this land poses no environmental threat and is expected to create thousands of jobs, but the administration continues to pander to extremist environmentalists who oppose one of the cleanest sources of energy we have. I wish I could say today’s announcement comes as a surprise, but sadly it’s just another sign that the Obama Administration is one of the most anti-American energy presidencies in history.”

“The Obama Administration and Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar today in a blatant political sop withdrew (blocked access to) one million acres of America’s prime energy resources in northern Arizona in order to appease his radical environmental following. This action was taken despite the publication of his own department’s (BLM) massive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that failed to reveal anything that would justify such a withdrawal,” said a statement from American Clean Energy Resources Trust (ACERT).

Conservation groups are applauding the Obama Administration’s final decision protecting one million acres of public land around Grand Canyon National Park from new uranium mining.

“Today’s Interior Department ‘record of decision’ establishes a 20-year ban on new uranium mining and mining of current claims without valid permits across one million acres (more than 1,500 square miles). The ban will protect Grand Canyon’s springs and creeks, as well as imperiled species like the humpback chub, from uranium-mining pollution.”

“This landmark decision closes the door on rampant industrialization of Grand Canyon’s watersheds,” said Roger Clark of the Grand Canyon Trust. “Uranium mining imposes well documented and unacceptable risks to the people and natural resources of our region.”