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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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.

    McGroarty-Weslosky

    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 on U.S. domestic development of resources and the dangers of foreign dependency. Dan is the foremost leader in the rare earths and critical materials industry for testifying and advising the U.S. government; informing federal leaders and lawmakers on what rare earths and critical materials are and the pressing need for U.S. self-sustainability (for National Security and manufacturing). Dan discusses his recent testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Science, Space and Technology with Tracy and, more specifically, the actions the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is advancing with regards to a proposed copper mine in Alaska. But, as Dan explains, the real issue doesn’t end with a proposed copper mine in Alaska…

    Dan starts: “We were looking at the actions the EPA may be taking to slow down, or even stop, a copper mine in Alaska. The question is whether the EPA is taking unto itself new, unilateral powers that will make our permitting process in the U.S. even longer than it is already. The EPA is being encouraged by some outside groups — anti-mining pressure groups — to use its (Section) 404 (Veto) Authority under the Clean Water Act and interpret that as allowing the EPA to stop a mining project before it even enters the permitting process. Without a mine plan even being presented, the EPA can decide a proposed mine is not suitable to go into the permitting process, which averages 7 to 10 years. That means the EPA would be making the decision without an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), without the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act of 1969) process, which, typically, the environmental groups support and push for. This is very different and very dramatic and we’ll have to see if this is something that mining companies are going to have to put on the screen and reckon with. It may be a copper mine in Alaska this time, but the EPA is an authority that if it uses this (veto power) once, they’re going to come back to it again and again.”

    “Regarding rare earths and other critical metals, it’s going to require a constant dialogue to make it clear to the other U.S. government agencies and work with directly with them so those agencies understand the criticality of these metals. The Department of Energy understands this. The Department of Defense is ‘understanding’ this… and yet there’s another government agency, which may be impeding these mines from going through the development stage. The U.S. government is all over the place right now. It is a very, very unsettled situation for companies trying to make it through. We have to sort that out. There has to be a clean path forward.”

    Finally Dan discusses his think tank, American Resource Policy Network (Tracy Weslosky is a participating expert in the American Resource Policy Network); the need for resource security in the United States; and to, “publicize both America’s dependence on foreign sources for critical materials and the path to reducing that dependence, if we rationally develop mining projects.”

    Aside from writing regularly for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Politico, Dan has presented at numerous metals conferences in the U.S., Canada and China on rare earths, and critical and strategic metals, and served as President and Director on the board of U.S. Rare Earths. Dan is a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has served as a Special Assistant to the President of the United States and as a presidential appointee to two Secretaries of Defense.

    Read the original article here.

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  • Dan McGroarty discusses looming EPA power-grab for Forbes

    Pebble Mine site

    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 Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment – a study conducted before any permit requests were filed or plans were submitted, and based entirely on hypotheticals – the agency would set a dangerous precedent with the potential to impact investment projects throughout the United States and across many sectors. It would furthermore undermine existing environmental law, which has helped strike the balance between economic and environmental concerns for more than forty years – the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

    Says McGroarty:

    “On very rare occasions, EPA has vetoed projects at some point during or after this process – never before. Such a move would fundamentally change the way companies assess the risks of even conducting preliminary research on a potential project. Important ideas that can create jobs, drive innovation, and produce value for the economy may never make it off of the drawing board, as EPA’s Sword of Damocles dangles precariously overhead.

    Environmental law was never meant to be a project killer. The purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act was to strike a balance between economy and environment, to ensure that the forward march of progress didn’t trample nature along the way. An EPA power grab of this magnitude would throw that equation far out of balance.”

    McGroarty goes on to point out the hypocrisy of some – not all – environmentalist organizations who have long championed “the balance of power afforded by the National Environmental Policy Act,” but adamantly call for a pre-emptive EPA veto in this particular case.

    His conclusion:

    “Our nation’s mine permitting process is not perfect – it can take up to a decade to navigate the maze of local, state and Federal red tape and get a mine online, which ties us for last place among mining nations with the much poorer, much more hazard-prone Papua New Guinea. But it is the product of a long-established law, carefully designed with checks and balances to ensure a healthy marriage of economy and environment in America. If EPA gives itself the power to veto ideas, you can bet it will be a messy divorce.”

    To read the full piece click here.

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  • 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 [...]
  • Left-of-center group calls for due process on domestic mining project

    As we’re approaching the end of the EPA’s (extended) public comment period for its revised Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, the surprises keep piling up. Only a few short days ago, the Washington Post – which is, as we’ve pointed out, not known to be a mouthpiece of the mining industry – came out against a [...]
  • Washington Post takes common sense stance on metals mining

    Two days before President Obama is set to unveil his overhauled climate change agenda, the editorial board of the Washington Post has offered its take on what one of the paper’s own headlines has called: “one of the most important environmental decisions the president faces in his second term” – the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. [...]
  • Public Comment Period on Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Extended

    Washington Post calls issue “the biggest environmental decision…you’ve never heard of…” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has officially extended the public comment period for its draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment – a review released in April in response to calls from anti-mining groups for the EPA to issue a preemptive permit veto under section 404(c) [...]
  • Former EPA Chief joins Apple, a key user of critical minerals

    According to news reports, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson will be joining Apple Inc. as vice president of environmental initiatives. As part of her new position, Jackson will coordinate many of the company’s environmental practices. Jackson hailed Apple’s environmental record stating that “Apple has shown how innovation can drive real progress [...]

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