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 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.