December 18, 2017
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: Rinehart v. California, No. 16-970 (U.S. Supreme Court)
PLP exists to “Represent and assist outdoor user groups and individuals interested in keeping public and private lands open to prospecting, mining and outdoor recreation through education, scientific data and legal means.”
Dear President Trump,
If you have not heard of Public Lands for the People (PLP), we are one of the oldest mining and land rights advocacy organizations in the nation, having fought hard for miner’s rights since 1990. We are reaching out to you, inviting you to unite with us in the struggle to preserve the rights granted to us under the 1872 Mining Law.
Along with supporting Brandon Rinehart in the California state court, PLP has fought other battles in the courts for many years, winning some very key cases for miners in the United States while preserving the spirit of our Federal Mining Law and our National Minerals Policy, codified in 1970, which states: “The Congress declares that it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government in the national interest to foster and encourage private enterprise in (1) the development of economically sound and stable domestic mining, minerals, metal and mineral reclamation industries, (2) the orderly and economic development of domestic mineral resources, reserves, and reclamation of metals and minerals to help assure satisfaction of industrial, security and environmental needs…”
I write to you today in order to make you aware of some rather disturbing recent actions of your Solicitor General in his office’s Amicus paper favoring California’s anti-mining position on mining and specifically regarding Rinehart v. California, No. 16-970 (U.S. Supreme Court). It is also to address specifics not addressed in a letter sent to you from the defendant’s attorney, James Buchal, on December 8, 2017.
As you are aware, it will be difficult to “Make America Great Again” without domestic manufacturers that have access to domestic sources of raw metals and minerals mined here in the United States. The problem is this: states such as California and your present Solicitor General support these actions that promote duplicative state regulation that overrides and is in direct conflict with Federal land planning objectives under the guise that state law can be more restrictive than federal law.
Unlike what your present Solicitor believes, this is exactly what the US Supreme Court warned about in California Coastal Comm’n v. Granite Rock., 480 U.S. 572 (1987). Anti-mining states such as California have a rather insidious way of carrying out this anti-American policy. They require a state permit on federally managed land—a permit that is physically impossible to obtain in the case of Rinehart.
Rinehart, in good faith, was carrying out his obligations under federal law and was caught in a scheme some have called “regulation by strangulation” whereby the state or federal agency requires a permit that it will not, or cannot issue in a timely fashion, then proceeded to criminally prosecute Rinehart under state law for not having that permit. A common tenet in law is that “the law does not require impossibilities,” but here in California, the rule of law and the justice it stands for is out the window. The state of California claims harm without environmental proof, which adds to this miscarriage of justice.
I understand that more of the swamp (administrative state) needs draining in order for your Presidential orders to be carried out and we at PLP admire your courage, drive and commitment. So if it is at all within your power as President to ask your Solicitor General to withdraw his Amicus regarding Rinehart v. California, No. 16-970 (U.S. Supreme Court) that acts to reward regulatory abusers such as California, it would be greatly appreciated.
Without your help, California and your current federal Solicitors stand as obstacles to federally encouraged activities and the security of our nation. Until next time, Let’s Keep Taking it Back while we Make Mining and Multiple Use Public Lands Great Again!
Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Public Lands for the People, the Traditional Mining Districts, and our entire national membership,
Ron Kliewer, President
Public Lands for the People
23501 Burbank Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Phone: (844) PLP-1990
cc: Attorney General Sessions
Secretary Ryan Zinke