Thank You, President Biden! Please come visit Arizona’s Copper Corridor.
As the Mayor of Superior, I have had a uniquely humbling experience to lead my community
through a variety of extreme challenges in just the last three years alone: a global pandemic;
the Telegraph Fire, which was Arizona’s sixth largest wildfire, and the Resolution Copper Mine
Environmental Impact Statement process.
I have seen first-hand what happens when the Federal Government works for the benefit of its
people. Looking back at our post-COVID recovery, the Town of Superior is stronger than ever!
Our American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars have been utilized to help grow our economy
and improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents. The Town of Superior utilized
our ARPA funding to move our community forward. Under your leadership, President Biden, my
community has begun to flourish despite the many significant challenges we have faced. I
know many of our rural communities in Arizona and across America are moving forward
because we had local control of the ARPA funds.
Federal funds are also helping us to establish our Multi-Generational Center that will include a
skilled job training center, where our first welding training program will start this fall. Our
wastewater treatment plant is being renovated to be more energy efficient and the repairs will
take us well into the future. ARPA funds have been utilized to make significant repairs to our
food bank, which serves 15 percent of our population.
We know that a diversified economy will help to ensure Superior remains a vibrant and resilient
community with a thriving economy. We invested ARPA funds into our first-ever tourism
promotion program, which is providing our town with more financial stability despite inflation
and wage increases. We are proud of our progress and how we have been an exemplar for
Build Back Better. Thank you, President Biden, for your assistance and courageous leadership
to ensure small towns like Superior are not forgotten during these turbulent times.
President Biden, you have made many visits to Arizona in your first term, and this is my sincere
invitation to you: please visit Superior and Arizona’s Copper Triangle during your upcoming visit
to Arizona. We need your attention on an important matter, and that is the re-release of the
Resolution Copper Environmental Impact Statement. This is an opportunity to further fortify
your commitment to the American people and to strengthen our nation’s competitive position
in a greener global economy.
Right now, the Town of Superior and State of Arizona have a once-in-a-generation opportunity
to be the leader in advancing your green energy strategy. Without American raw materials,
the CHIPS Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act initiatives will be extremely reliant
on foreign sources like China and Brazil for the critical minerals needed for the production of
semiconductor chips and electric vehicles and devices.
While Superior was leading through COVID and the Telegraph Fire, we also were setting a
foundation for how Superior will be a thriving town that has a world class mine, and not a
mining town. A mine that will operate much differently than the mines my father, grandfathers
and great-grandfathers began their careers in. My family has lived in Superior for five
generations since both my maternal and paternal ancestors immigrated here to work in the
mines. We are a mining community that has survived the booms and busts of mining cycles for
more than one hundred years.
Superior is the only community of people listed as an Environmental Justice Community in the
Resolution Copper Environmental Impact Statement. I want to assure you that the Town of
Superior has extensively studied the FEIS and we respectfully ask that you personally hear our
requests to re-release the Resolution Copper FEIS.
This FEIS has been one of the most extensively studied mines in the history of NEPA and there
have been several tribal consultations to the point that our community, which is the most
impacted by this project, has not been consulted on how these ongoing federal delays affect
our community. Resolution Copper has worked with many of the area’s tribes to develop
projects that move their communities forward, and likewise, they have been partners in
progress for Superior and other Copper Triangle communities as well.
President Biden, you have the opportunity to ensure that America can continue to Build Back
Better with American raw materials. We need your leadership to ensure that this mine opens
with all of the environmental protections as the FEIS statement currently states. During your
next visit to Arizona, we ask that you visit our region and learn more how we are truly prepared
to provide America the critical mineral resources that will sustain the success of your Green
Energy Strategy and accelerate America’s transition to a green energy economy.
The Resolution Copper Mine project has the potential to supply up to one-quarter of America’s
copper needed to power this transition and maintain our nation’s economic vitality. Arizona’s
mine workers are ready to power your green energy strategy. The Resolution Copper Mine
project is critical to your Build Back Better plan, your green energy strategy, and your
infrastructure plan. The mine will create thousands of new jobs in our region and most
importantly, Resolution Copper has project labor agreements with several trade unions to
ensure this project is built by American workers.
President Biden, in Superior we use the term “Together We are Superior.” With your leadership
and personal attention on this matter, Together, We can Build Back not only Better but Stronger
than Ever Before!
We all would be deeply honored to have the opportunity to introduce ourselves and our
communities to you and know that you, too, will benefit by learning more about us.
Mayor Mila Besich
Town of Superior, Arizona