Washington, DCToday, Rep. John Curtis (R-UT),  spoke on the House Floor in support of the residents of San Juan County, Utah in light of a round of layoffs at the White Mesa uranium mill. Changes in the global uranium market have affected mill operations with a result of 30% employees being let go. The mill is the largest private employer in San Juan County.

“This mill has provided families with good incomes and generated tax dollars to help the local infrastructure. In fact, this facility is the largest private employer in San Juan County. I am committed to creating new economic opportunities in rural areas. Rural Utahns deserve the same quality of life that their urban friends have, including access to broadband, quality medical care, and good paying jobs. I will continue to work in Congress to bring these vital services to rural Utah. While it has been a difficult week for many in San Juan County, I know the community will be resilient and persevere.”

The Congressman shakes the hand of a White Mesa uranium mill employee in September 2019

Full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:

“I rise today in support of hard-working Utahns in the uranium industry in San Juan County, and especially those who have recently lost their jobs at the White Mesa uranium mill and the La Sal uranium mine complex. 

Unfortunately, foreign subsidization of uranium production has had a devastating impact on North American production and has affected the mill’s operations, and as a result, roughly 30% of the employees had to be let go at our nation’s last operating uranium mill.

In addition to producing critical minerals, this mill has provided families with good incomes and generated tax dollars to help the local infrastructure. In fact, this facility is the largest private employer in San Juan County.

Since my election to Congress, I have had the privilege to spend significant time in rural parts of Utah, including San Juan County. I appreciate rural Utah’s sense of community, and desire to help their neighbors during a time of need. 

Unlike more urban parts of Utah with a business hiring on every corner, rural areas often have fewer economic opportunities. However, the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit I’ve observed among the residents of San Juan County make me confident they’ll successfully fight through this difficult time and ultimately come out stronger for it.

Additionally, I am committed to creating new economic opportunities in rural areas. Rural Utahns deserve the same quality of life that their urban friends have, including access to broadband, quality medical care, and good paying jobs. 

I will continue to work in Congress to bring these vital services to rural Utah. While it has been a difficult week for many in San Juan County, I know the community will be resilient and persevere.”

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