EPA Ignoring Alaskan Concerns: Senator Lisa Murkowski Speaks Out
|July 16, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues, Mining|
As Americans we are accustomed to being free to voice our opinions and have an expectation that we can have at least a minimal effect on events in our own local communities. Whether or not we choose to attempt to have an affect is another matter. We believe we can vote someone out of office who is not performing to our expectations. At the very least we can write our Congressmen, local commissioners or a scathing letter to the editor of our local newspapers.
Unfortunately, there are those who don’t understand this and are reverting to older ideas of government that have failed repeatedly. We see ourselves being moved backwards towards a stronger centralized government in insidious ways. So insidious that it’s barely noticeable until it gets so big that it will be hard to overcome.
One of the avenues for undermining the power of the people is through building huge bureaucratic organizations that make it virtually impossible for everyday people to have a say in what is going on in their own back yards and give all the power to a centralized government. That appears to be what is happening with the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska as well as other places around our country. The local people have little or no say. They are being ignored and all the power to make decisions is based with a few people who have their own agendas and have little or no interest in the opinions of the people most impacted by their decisions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rushing the comment period for their controversial watershed assessment for Bristol Bay, Alaska that would pre-emptively deny permits for Pebble Mine which would mine the world’s largest copper resources located in Alaska. Lisa Jackson, Director of the EPA is refusing to meet with local supporters of the Pebble Mine Project and are holding community meetings on the project in Washington State, 1,500 miles away.
Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski has met with Lisa Jackson and is speaking out about her disappointment in the EPA’s indifference to the concerns of Alaskans:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for refusing to give Alaskans more time to comment on the agency’s controversial watershed assessment of the Bristol Bay region.
“The EPA’s refusal to provide additional time for the public to comment on the draft watershed assessment for Bristol Bay demonstrates, once again, that the agency does not understand Alaska,” Murkowski said. “There is no deadline – other than the one arbitrarily imposed by the EPA – that requires the agency to act now.”
Murkowski raised her concerns about the limited comment period directly with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Murkowski said the comment period, which is currently scheduled to close July 23, coincides with the busy summer season in Alaska, when many Alaskans are out commercial or subsistence fishing.
“I’m disappointed that the EPA’s Washington-based leaders have failed to see the benefits of allowing Alaskans adequate time to comment on an assessment that could have significant consequences for the future of our state,” Murkowski said.
The consequences for Alaska and its future are only a drop in the bucket to the consequences for the rest of the country in terms of acquiring much needed natural resources and jobs.
We need to speak out about this usurping of the people’s power. Resourceful Earth has set up an action alert site which makes it very easy for you to write your representative and ask that the people most affected by the Pebble Mine project have a say in keeping that opportunity from being shut down through bureaucratic red-tape. You can access the action site here.