President Donald Trump announced Friday that he has signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from a landmark treaty that sets guidelines for mining uranium deposits on public lands in the U.S. and Canada.
The move was announced on Twitter just hours after the State Department and the Interior Department released the final version of a memorandum detailing how the Trump administration intends to handle the mining deal with China.
The State Department memorandum outlined a range of possible actions that could result from the withdrawal of the agreement, including: ending uranium leasing for U.P.O.s on public land, restricting mining on public or private lands, imposing restrictions on mining on the public, and prohibiting mining on private lands.
The administration’s decision to withdraw the agreement comes as a group of environmental groups, including the Wilderness Society, has been pushing for the U,S.
to halt its mining and mining activities in the United Nations-protected, coral-rich and remote Hawaiian Aloha Forest, known as Horsetooth Reservoir.
The agreement also includes a ban on the sale of uranium, but it is unclear how the president will proceed with the sale.
The announcement came amid a surge of protests over the U’s uranium mining plan, which includes plans to mine and mine on public and private lands in Hawaii, Alaska, and the Yukon.
The Trump administration, which had been working to approve the uranium deal in recent weeks, announced Friday evening that it was withdrawing from the deal.
The withdrawal was announced after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Secretary of State John Sullivan both said that the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, and India will be the only countries that will continue to own the uranium reserves on their territory, as well as all the other uranium-related resources.
Zinke said that “in the interest of all nations to meet their international commitments, the United State will not be renewing the lease agreement,” which the administration says is a “legitimate process” that should have been initiated by the Obama administration.
Sullivan said that, in light of the withdrawal, the State and Interior departments are working together to explore the next steps to preserve Hors Bluetooth Forest.
Sullivan also said that he would “continue to engage with the US. partners in the Hors Blind, Aloha, and Hors Arawak ecosystems to work towards an equitable and sustainable approach.”
The president’s decision comes after Trump and his cabinet officials met for more than three hours in a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office on Friday afternoon.
Trump and Secretary Zinke also spoke by phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also present, to discuss the deal, according to a White House statement.
The United States will not seek reauthorization of the Uranium One and Harsen Cement Agreement until we are certain that the agreements have a long-term environmental and social benefit to all nations.
The White House said that Trump’s administration is working to ensure that uranium mining on Hors, Hors and Aloha forests will not threaten the health of the forests, which are protected by the Antiquities Act of 1906.
Trump’s announcement comes as conservation groups have been pushing the president to reauthorize the agreement.
The group Conservation Progress, along with the Sierra Club, the Wilderness League, and Native Hawaiian organizations, filed a lawsuit in January challenging the Trump government’s uranium deal with the Chinese.
In their lawsuit, the groups said that President Trump’s executive order on uranium mining was a “serious, sweeping, and costly violation of the law and violates the constitution.”