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

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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 [...]
  • 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.    
  • 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 [...]
  • 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) [...]
  • EPA’s revised Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment flawed on several levels

    Pulling a classic Friday afternoon document drop, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its revised draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment on Friday afternoon – only two days after tamping down media expectations that the release was imminent. As American Resources President Daniel McGroarty pointed out in an email to journalists on Friday, the flawed assessment [...]

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