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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty in the Wall Street Journal

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty reports a worrisome development in the saga of EPA’s unprecedented use of pre-emptive veto power to stop Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine even before a mine plan is presented for review: Anti-mining activists are urging EPA to dust off its veto pen again. And again.

    Noting a common thread between new pushes for EPA to use its pre-emptive veto to stop potential mines in Minnesota, Oregon and Wisconsin, Dan writes:

    “What these projects have in common is that none has put forward an actual mine plan. This action would trigger a thorough mine review, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. For more than 40 years NEPA has defined the process by which a mine plan is evaluated. Under the law, every one of the concerns raised by opponents to the Wisconsin, Minnesota and Oregon mines would be aired publicly, examined by scientists and a range of technical experts, before approval is granted or denied. Now, using Pebble Mine as precedent, anti-mining activists are urging the EPA to ignore NEPA and bar mining projects with no review necessary.”

    As Dan wrote in a previous Wall Street Journal piece:

    “If the EPA reinterprets existing law—Section 404 of the Clean Water Act—and grants itself unilateral authority to stop the permitting process before it begins, Pebble Mine won’t be the only project in its cross hairs, and copper won’t be the only metal.”

    Add potential projects in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Oregon to what may well be a growing list.

    Read the full piece HERE.

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  • Op-ed: How the EPA Sticks Miners With a Motherlode of Regulation

    The following op-ed by American Resources Principal Dan McGroarty was published in the Wall Street Journal on January 3, 2014. The original text can be found here.

    Copper

    How the EPA Sticks Miners With a Motherlode of Regulation
    The years-long wait for mining permits in the U.S. is the worst in the world.

    On Dec. 13, the proposed Rosemont Copper project in southwestern Arizona—which would produce about one-tenth of all the copper in the U.S. every year—got the green light from the U.S. Forest Service to begin operations.

    It was a long time coming—more than seven years after the company presented its mine plan and began the National Environmental Policy Act review process. Then again, since the average time to get a mine permitted in the U.S. is a worst-in-the-world seven-to-10 years, Rosemont’s long wait isn’t the exception. It’s the rule.

    The Forest Service’s approval should be great news for our high-tech economy, powered by copper in, for instance, electric vehicles, smart homes and smartphones (about 10% of an average phone’s weight is copper). But that decision is overshadowed by the last remaining—and most formidable—governmental hurdle, the Environmental Protection Agency, the guardian of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Having run the gauntlet of state and local permitting requirements, Rosemont now faces two potentially fatal challenges from the EPA in the final stages of review: either death by a thousand pesky comments or an outright veto.

    In the bureaucratic equivalent of sticky riot foam—a substance meant to slow and stop people on the street—every few months, a couple of dozen pages furl out from the EPA to Rosemont’s managers. Past communications have included the suggestion that the project might jeopardize the leopard frog, or the Gila topminnow, or the water umbrel. One official worry was that the project might impede the opportunity for people to canoe in a desert region where summer temperatures reach 118 degrees.

    The EPA churns out concerns about potential impacts on 18 miles of streams and threats to the “water quality” of the Davidson Canyon Wash, a single gulch—filled intermittently by rain—in a state with 39,039 rivers and streams. The agency also lets Rosemont know it will be looking at the impacts of mining on air quality—but only after a preliminary process to determine which air-quality standard should apply. Each governmental query receives a Rosemont reply in the never-ending race toward a moving finish line.

    Even this snail’s pace doesn’t satisfy antimining advocates. Many environmentalists and anticapitalists (and many critics are both) would like to see the EPA simply short-circuit the review process and veto the mine proposal. After all, the agency has used Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to shut down a mine—famously, the Spruce Mine in West Virginia—even after it had received its operating permit.

    For the most vocal environmental groups, the EPA is perfectly suited as judge and jury. Jennifer Krill, the director of Earthworks, confirmed in congressional testimony earlier this year that her group has never supported or endorsed a single U.S. mine. The threat of an EPA Clean Water Act veto of various projects hangs over more than $220 billion in economic development, ranging from mines to agriculture and infrastructure projects.

    Sadly for communities around the proposed mine—about 30 miles southwest of Tucson in an area where unemployment is still stubbornly close to 10%—every day of delay means a longer wait for much-needed jobs, which would funnel much-needed revenue into local tax coffers. Mothers and fathers struggling to support their families may feel endangered, but unlike the leopard frog, they’re not on a government list.

    The nation, meanwhile, is losing the output of a mine with a projected yearly output of more than 100,000 metric tons. That’s Arizona copper the U.S. wouldn’t need to import from abroad, feeding a negative balance of trade, and providing political and economic leverage to nations that supply the metal we fail to mine ourselves.

    If we mine fewer metals, won’t manufacturing jobs leave the U.S. and go where the metals are? If we don’t mine in the U.S.—with arguably the world’s most stringent oversight, environmental and safety standards—won’t Americans end up importing products made with metals mined in other places under less-stringent standards (if any), leading to far more damage to the environment and the health of the miners? All of these questions are critical to determining whether a mine serves the public good. Surely they must matter to the nation as much as a topminnow does to the EPA.

    Finally, did Congress pass the National Environmental Policy Act to put in place a means of balancing the benefits of resource extraction with competing public goods? Or did it set up an endless bureaucratic gauntlet designed to delay, derail or economically exhaust mine developers?

    Seven and a half years on, Rosemont Copper is still waiting for an answer.

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  • Farmers React to EPA’s New Water Rule

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty wrote earlier this month about EPA’s newly-proposed redefinition of water – warning that: “…the issue isn’t just mining. Couple the expansive new water rule to EPA’s unilateral extension of its “dredge and fill” powers, and there’s no reason that oil and gas projects won’t be next. Ditto major construction, transportation routes, and [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Testimony before U.S. House questions EPA’s latest action on supply of critical materials

    The following post was originally published on InvestorIntel.com on August 16, 2013. It is reprinted with permission below. August 16, 2013 — Tracy Weslosky, Publisher of InvestorIntel interviews Daniel (Dan) McGroarty, Founder and President of Carmot Strategic Consultants in Washington, DC, and Founder and President of the American Resources Policy Network; an expert-led organization focused [...]
  • Dan McGroarty discusses looming EPA power-grab for Forbes

    In a new piece for Forbes, American Resources Policy Network principal Daniel McGroarty discusses the EPA’s apparent readiness to unilaterally expand its powers under the Clean Water Act to pre-emptively veto a promising mining project in Alaska – the Pebble Mine. As McGroarty argues, if the EPA were to issue a veto based on its [...]
  • EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment: A Factual Review of a Hypothetical Scenario

    Testimony presented by Daniel McGroarty – Oversight Hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee, August 1, 2013 Chairman Broun, Ranking Member Maffei, Members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Daniel McGroarty, and I am president of the American Resources Policy [...]
  • Congressional hearing on Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment underscores importance of due process

    The debate over the EPA’s controversial Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment entered another stage this week, with the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space & Technology, Subcommittee on Oversight holding a hearing on its merits. Invited to testify before the committee, American Resources Principal Daniel McGroarty outlined the flaws and challenges associated with this [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Motley Fool zeroes in on Copper

    In a three-part series, Nick Slepko, a member of the The Motley Fool Blog Network, zeroes in on the importance of Copper. Considering the current controversy over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s actions regarding what could conceivably be the largest deposit of critical minerals in U.S. history – the Pebble Deposit in Alaska – the [...]

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