American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Witnesses lament EPA overreach during Congressional hearing

    The government shutdown notwithstanding, mining experts took to Capitol Hill this week to share their concerns about the roadblocks they encounter in the form of often unnecessary and costly regulations, and even – in some cases – abusive actions on the part of the Obama Administration, with members of Congress.

    During Thursday’s House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing titled “EPA vs. American Mining Jobs: The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Assault on the Economy,” Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Edmund Fogels outlined the challenges associated with federal agencies seeking to expand their mining regulations, which often results in redundant duplications of existing and well-functioning programs. Alaska leads the nation in the effort to act strategically on critical metals development; however, Fogels clearly recognizes that the state’s proactive approach is not widely shared.

    He said:

    “This duplication is not only inefficient, but it has real costs to the states and their residents who work to responsibly develop and protect natural resources.”

    Fogels was joined by Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association’s Senior Vice President, who lamented the Administration’s obstructionist policies towards the coal mining industry, and Sheldon Maier from the Fortymile Coal Association in Alaska who provided insight into what ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty has called “Chicken-gate” – a heavy-handed and armed EPA-led raid of a mining site in Chicken, Alaska, to conduct “paperwork” inspections of permit compliance.

    As Committee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R, Colo.) rightly pointed out during the meeting:

    “At the heart of the issue is the lack of confidence in permitting by the federal government. If without proper cause, an agency can retroactively veto issued permits or prospectively veto permits not applied for, then how can any company, contractor or concessionaire have confidence to invest in America when their permit is not worth the paper it is written on.”

    The sad and simple answer is, they can’t – and it’s time our policy makers begin to reform our onerous and rigid permitting system.

    Click here for more information about the hearing and links to witnesses’ full remarks.

  • As EPA Administrator visits Bristol Bay, environmentalists repeat call for preemptive veto

    While Members of Congress spent some time in their home districts last month, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy traveled to Alaska to discuss the President’s climate action plan and hear arguments from stakeholders in the Bristol Bay area on the proposed Pebble mine.

    Opponents of the project used the occasion to once more push for a preemptive veto, saying that EPA should “finalize its assessment, and initiate action under the Clean Water Act to stop the Pebble Mine.” In doing so, they are looking to bypass the very framework they have been hailing as the “Magna Carta” of environmental protections – the process set forth under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which, in their own words is “awesome” as it “gives the public a seat at the table, and the chance to use it effectively, by bringing impacts and options out into the open.

    Meanwhile, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is calling for due process, a position ARPN has consistently supported. As Robert Dillon, spokesperson for the Senator told The Daily Caller:

    “As Sen. Murkowski has consistently said, her concern is that the EPA is going beyond its authority in circumventing the established federal permitting process and setting a dangerous precedent for proposed economic development projects nationwide,” (…)

    “The permitting process exists for a reason and a federal agency can no more ignore the established process than can an applicant,” Dillon added. “If the EPA has concerns about the impact of a project there is an appropriate time to raise them after a permit application has been made and the required analyses have been completed. Attempting to prejudge a hypothetical project is neither scientific or productive.”

    Indeed, – and as environmentalists have acknowledged – the NEPA process simply guarantees that the environment is taken into account- and gives the public, the state, other agencies, and the applicant their chance to weigh in. More importantly, it allows for the identification of potential environmental impacts and the development of mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate possible harm.

    Ultimately, NEPA uses the give and take of a public review to make projects better and safer for the environment. Allowing for due process under NEPA should be a “no-brainer.”

    The fact that environmentalists are not interested in granting a fair and full review in this particular case speaks volumes.

  • Senate hearing puts price tag on EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

    The Daily Caller Foundation’s Michael Bastasch, who has consistently offered thorough coverage of some of the most pressing mineral- and mining-related issues, last week took a closer look at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s spending on the agency’s controversial Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. According to Bastasch, during a recent U.S. Senate hearing, “Ken Kopocis, President [...]
  • Debate over Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment should focus on NEPA process, not emotional hyperbole and over-simplification

    With the public commenting period for the EPA’s revised Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment now closed, Environment and Energy Publishing’s Manuel Quinones zeroes in on the comments submitted to the agency in his latest piece for E&E Daily (subscription required). According to the article, the battle lines are drawn on the push by environmentalist groups for [...]
  • Op-ed: A Potential Copper Bonanza Runs Afoul of the EPA

    The following op-ed by American Resources Principal Dan McGroarty was published in the Wall Street Journal on July 5, 2013. The original text can be found here. A Potential Copper Bonanza Runs Afoul of the EPA The metal is essential for wind turbines, but a proposed mine in Alaska has set off Keystone-like alarms. By Daniel [...]
  • Dan McGroarty featured (again) on the Glen Biegel Show

    American Resources President Dan McGroarty made his second appearance on the Glen Biegel Show in Anchorage, AK on Monday to discuss the U.S. mining permitting process and the proposed Pebble mine. Listen below.    
  • Alaska Senate passes resolution in support of REE exploration

    Alaska continues to be a state leader when it comes to formulating mineral resource policy. In line with Gov. Sean Parnell’s five-part strategy to support the mining industry, the State Senate has passed a resolution in support of in-state Rare Earths exploration, which urges state agencies and the federal government to lend its support to [...]
  • Alaska maps state’s “mineral potential from the land and air”

    As the Juneau Empire’s Russell Stigall reports, the State of Alaska’s efforts to map Alaska’s “mineral potential from the land and air” are in full swing. Thanks to the state’s – and particularly Southeast Alaska’s – rich geology, state geologists, including Bob Swenson, state geologist and director of the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical [...]
  • Alaska minerals expert joins American Resources panel

    We’re thrilled to announce that Curtis J. Freeman, president of Avalon Development Corporation, has joined the American Resources panel of issue experts. A U.S. Certified Professional Geologist and licensed geologist in the State of Alaska, Mr. Freeman founded Avalon Development Corporation, a mineral exploration consulting firm based in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1985. Mr. Freeman and [...]
  • House Oversight Committee threatens use of subpoena powers in case of the EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed assessment

    As the Daily Caller reports, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform is stepping up the pressure on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the context of the agency’s controversial negative review of a potential mining project in Alaska’s Bristol Bay area. Reiterating a request made in May of 2012, when the EPA [...]