Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Patagonia Area Resource Alliance

Arizona Senate Candidate Marc Victor

Posted by parawatchdogs on Sunday, October 7, 2012

US Senate District 3: Marc Victor



Marc Victor is the Libertarian candidate for US Senate. Here are his positions on issues relevant to PARA’s mission to monitor the activities of industrial developers, such as mining corporations, as well as government agencies, to make sure their actions have long-term, sustainable benefits to our public land, our watershed, and our communities. He chose to sum up his answers to all the questions in a few paragraphs. We’ve listed the questions followed by his answers.

1. When considering an industry’s promise to bring jobs to our community, what other factors would you consider when deciding whether or not the overall impact of such activity would ultimately be good for the long term sustainability of our communities?

2. As we desert dwellers are aware, water is a precious resource. What actions will you take to assure protection of the quality

3. If you support open pit mining in the Santa Rita Mountains, Canelo Hills, Patagonia Mountains, and the San Rafael Valley, what is your proposed solution for the economic bust that will happen after the mines play out in 20 years (historical track record and what current mining applicants forecast as period of operation)?

4. What types of support do you suggest for fostering our existing economic business models such as local food production, wineries, eco-tourism, heritage tourism, etc?

5. Thomas Jefferson said : “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. ”

The Mining Law of 1872 was enacted to develop this part of the country and at the time mining used dramatically different extraction methods than today’s industry. What will you do to either outright cancel this law OR in the alternative, bring it to modern times and empower local communities to have control over their resources?

6. HR 3446, the “Fair Payment for Energy and Mineral Production on Public Lands Act” will require mining companies to pay a royalty, provide safeguards for clean water, and give communities and agencies a say about where mining will be permitted. What will you do to support this House bill or its Senate version?

7. What other visions of sustainable economic activities do you have for our area?

Marc Victor’s answers:

My firm belief is that government and industry are too closely tied together, creating legislation for mutual benefit at the expense of consumers, fair competition and a free market.
As a Libertarian, my fundamental belief is that people and communities should engage in activity voluntarily. Parallel to that is the belief that no action undertaken should result in the harm of another person or their property.

When we talk about issues, like the mining industry, these principles should be the basis for making any decision. Mining should be conducted in a manner that is safe for the workers, safe for the residents, and insures that any harmful by-products do not contaminate shared resources like air and water. Private property and trespass laws are the legal key for making sure such damage does not occur and that mining companies are held accountable for remedying the situation if it should.
To the questions about the local economy, business models and the forecasted decline of industry as a particular mine plays out, diverse free markets are the best insurance for a robust economy.

Businesses come and go. Industry comes and goes. As technology changes, certain products or services become less desirable in favor of new products and services. To artificially prop up or bail out any business or industry when the consumer and the market no longer want it is, I believe, blatant theft of taxpayer money. You have an advantage of knowing approximately when the mining activity will decline. In my view, members of the local community should be responsible for creating vibrant and competitive local businesses and for planning to accommodate the increase and decrease in the local economy. What I can do to support that is to advocate for the least amount of government intervention and to repeal laws that increase the barriers to or the cost of doing business.

As a non-profit organization with a pending IRS 501-c-3 application, Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA) can not endorse specific candidates. PARA can ask questions of all candidates regarding their positions on issues relevant to PARA’s mission.

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