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Senators speak out in support of Vulcan Materials Company

Lawmakers call to end the unlawful actions against the quarry and mining facility in Mexico.

Sen. Katie Britt and Sen. Tommy Tuberville
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Vulcan Materials Company has been operating out of its Punta Venado port in Quintana Roo, Mexico since the 1980s, but in 2022, the government of Mexico seized Vulcan’s deep-sea port, noting alleged environmental damage.

On May 9, U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama; Katie Britt, R-Alabama; Bill Hagerty, R-Tennessee; and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, sent a letter to Alicia Bárcena, secretary of foreign affairs of Mexico, encouraging her to take action regarding the mistreatment of Vulcan.

The letter cites concerns about the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the U.S. and developments within both countries. Ultimately, suppose the current course is not reversed and a beneficial solution is not found. In that case, the senators will exhaust all avenues to ensure no individuals profit from the seizure of Vulcan’s operation and land.

Vulcan Materials Company is a leading producer of construction aggregates and construction materials like asphalt and concrete located in Birmingham, Alabama. Vulcan provides aggregate materials to infrastructure projects in the southeast regions. These locations generally do not produce the necessary geology resources to produce these aggregates locally.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has threatened the limestone quarry operation, accusing the company of extracting materials without the proper permits, ultimately forcing Vulcan’s operation out of the country.

The ongoing dispute has garnered the attention of Alabama Britt and Tuberville, along with the rest of the Alabama delegation, but their previous letters did not detail a retaliation if their requests were not met.

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the predecessor of the North American Free Trade Agreement, placed a higher importance on the environmental impacts of production. One of these provisions includes not weakening environmental laws to encourage trade, holding all three countries to a higher conservation standard.

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Negotiations were discussed to either buy the land from Vulcan, valued at $360 million, or alter the use of the port to bolster tourism by creating a place to dock cruise ships in the Caribbean state. Vulcan was willing but interested in an avenue to allow them to export goods as well.

Mary Claire is a reporting intern.

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