Sen. Barack Obama says he thinks reforms of the Mining Law of 1872 may be going a bit too far. Bill Schneider, writing in NewWest , says the law “is an embarrassment to a civilized society .”

Schneider runs through the history of the 1872 law and explains the extremely favorable terms the federal government gave to companies that mined in the west. It’s personal for Schneider, whose family owns land affected by the law.

Schneider also explains the reform that Obama said he opposed. (There was no mention of the law in the Nevada debate Thursday night, which is too bad.) Backers of the reform say it was the support of hunters and fishermen that helped pass the bill through the House.

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