PNS Daily Newscast - July 3, 2020 

Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

2020Talks - July 3, 2020 

Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

“Be Mine” – Congress Looks at New CA Gold Rush

January 24, 2008

San Francisco, CA – Gold prices have hit a record high in the U.S. in the past week, and that has helped spur a new gold rush in California, with hundreds of new claims pending and a push to start mining in Northern California near the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Congress is looking at updating mining laws today, and Jane Danowitz with the Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining says it's about time, because the law hasn't been changed since 1872.

"This is a law that is outdated, outmoded and not relevant to the current mining practices of the day."

"Updates" would include charging royalties, as is done for oil and gas extraction, and requiring mining companies to help pay for cleanup when a mining operation is closed. The group Westerners for Responsible Mining estimates there are already 39,000 abandoned mines in California, and classifies 4,000 of them as dangerous to the environment.

Opponents of changing the law argue the proposed royalties are too high, but Danowitz believes they're in line with what other industries pay when taking resources off public land.

"These are industries which are highly profitable and, in many cases, foreign-owned, and yet for decades they've been able to take gold and other precious minerals from U.S. public land virtually for free."

Information on California mines is available online at

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - CA