The author contends that it makes good sense to reduce funding for mining regulation, because regulatory problems with over-mining and pollution will be solved when scientists learn how to create large amounts of copper from other chemical elements. One reason the author gives for this conclusion is that the problem of over-mining will be quickly eliminated when the amount of potentially available copper is no longer limited by the quantity of actual copper deposits. Another reason given is that pollution problems created by production of synthetic copper substitutes will be eliminated when manufacturers no longer depend on substitutes. This argument is weak because the conclusion goes beyond the scope of the premises and because the argument relies on questionable assumptions.
To begin with, the wording of the conclusion suggests that funding for mining regulation generally should be reduced, yet the premises are about copper mining only. There are many mined resources other than copper; advances in copper synthesis technology will in all likelihood have no bearing on whether regulation of other kinds of mining should be changed.
Furthermore, the argument depends on the assumption that copper mining will slow down once copper can be chemically synthesized. However, the author provides no evidence to substantiate this assumption. Moreover, it is entirely possible that copper mining will remain less expensive than copper synthesis. If so, there will be no incentives, outside of regulatory ones, to slow down copper mining. In a word, the problem of over-mining will remain.