Posts Tagged by Alaska
|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.
|May 7, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
We have to ask ourselves what someone’s motivation might be whenever that person does something that defies reason and is contrary to their normal mode of operation. Such is the case of Robin Hayes, the North Carolina Republican Party Chairman, as he has recently written an open letter supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) massive expansion.
Specifically, Mr. Hayes has written his open letter in support of the EPA’s ongoing efforts to block the development of the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska. That project would provide much needed resources that would help alleviate the economic depression in the area, would provide jobs to the Native American and other people in the area and would provide energy resources for the country.
What is Robin Hayes thinking?
Why would a North Carolina Republican come out in support of preemptive measures to stop mining on State land a continent away in Alaska? Why would he support the unprecedented expansion of the powers of the EPA?
Surely a representative of the people wouldn’t put his own financial interests over the interests of the people he is supposed to represent? That would be downright hypocritical and counter to the trust of the people he is supposed to be representing!
So what is Hayes up to? It might have something to do with his favorite Bristol Bay fishing hole.
The Hill tacked a short profile of Hayes to his letter, saying, “He is a frequent visitor to Alaska’s Bristol Bay, where he stays at Brian Kraft’s Alaska Sportsman’s Lodges.”
The reference is to two luxury lodges, where the tab for one week is $8,675, or more than the per capita annual income in nearby Nondalton ($8,411), where 37 percent of families are below the poverty line. The lodge prices don’t faze Hayes, who owns a hosiery mill in North Carolina. His grandfather was textile magnate Charles Cannon of Cannon towels and sheets fame.
Kraft has been fighting to preserve his lodges’ privacy by stopping the Pebble Mine, whose site is about 65 miles from his nearest lodge. Kraft founded and funded the Bristol Bay Alliance in 2004 for this purpose. He also became a project director for Trout Unlimited’s Alaska chapter in 2005. And David E. Sandlin, half-owner of the lodges with Kraft, is an old schoolmate of Hayes at North Carolina’s Duke University — they were two years apart.
It seems that it is often the case that the ‘green’ movement is motivated more by the personal interests of the well-to-do than by any real concern for the environment. It certainly doesn’t seem to be motivated by what is best for the country and the people.
Help stop this insanity. Take action! Send a letter to your Representative here.
|May 3, 2012||Posted by Admin under Issues, Mining|
Count Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty in the chorus of voices decrying the bullying tactics of the EPA in its efforts to shut down an important resource project before it’s even had the chance to apply for permits.
Geraghty wrote in a March letter to Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator of EPA Region X, “We believe that EPA’s actions in using the Watershed assessment to address the pending petition are unlawfully preemptive, premature, arbitrary, capricious and vague.”
Legal Newsline reports:
EPA’s watershed assessment effort reaches well beyond any process or authority contemplated by the [Clean Water Act]…
…it conflicts with federal and state law, lacks scientific credibility and violates state and private mineral rights…
Various federal judges – including Supreme Court Justices – have described the EPA’s conduct as “outrageous” or “exceeding its authority.”
The Pebble Mine project continues to be under threat from this unconstitutional expansion of power by the EPA. You can take action via Resourceful Earth by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators telling them to stop the EPA and their bullying tactics here.
For further reading:
Alaska AG says EPA’s actions ‘unlawful’ (Legal Newsline)
Obama’s “None Of The Above” Energy Policy (Wizbang Blog)
Big Green pushes for EPA power grab to stop Pebble Mine (Washington Examiner)
|April 24, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Energy|
Last month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suffered what should have been an embarrassing defeat when the Supreme Court ruled that Mike and Chantell Sackett could bring suit against the EPA. That Supreme Court decision was the culmination of a costly 3-year battle between the Sackett’s and the powerful Obama Environmental Protection Agency which used the Clean Water Act in an attempt to prevent the couple from building their home on their property in Idaho.
Apparently the Sackett ruling might not have been such an embarrassment to the mega-bureaucratic government agency because just last week the EPA announced plans to use the Clean Water Act to preemptively prevent the Pebble Mine Project from being built in Alaska. This battle has also been going on for about three years.
It seems that many of the well-heeled in Alaska and Oregon don’t want the Pebble Mine Project built close to an area they consider their personal playground, Bristol Bay, Alaska. And so, under the guise of environmentalism, the powerful few help finance astroturf campaigns and environmental activists in an attempt to ‘Keystone’ the Pebble Mine Project without concern for the Native populations of the area and the much needed jobs and the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be infused into the depressed economy both directly and indirectly.
These NIMBY activists (Not in My Back Yard) have shut down projects across the country. The most famous recent case is the Keystone Pipeline. Now, through the EPA’s announcement last week, it seems the next Obama Administration ‘Keystoning’ will be focused on the Pebble Mine Project.
The question is, what does anyone have to gain by preventing mining, transporting oil or even a couple from building a house in Idaho? Why is there an entire large government agency focusing its attention and spending tax-payer money on preventing these projects that would only help the economy, give people jobs and lower energy prices?
By all appearances it has mostly to do with returning political favors and asserting power, both over those attempting to get the permits and those who are having to pay the price of having to buy energy from places like China, Chile, Venezuela and who knows where else. Those countries are reaping the profits while Americans are paying the price.
|February 16, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Energy, Issues|
Native Alaskans are being snubbed by the Obama Administration’s EPA. All an Alaska Native consortium wanted was a chance to ask Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Lisa Jackson for assurance their villages and native culture will be preserved. They were denied the opportunity which in turn denies the opportunity for jobs in an area in the midst of devastating economic depression.
Abe Williams and Lisa Reimers of Nuna Resources (an Alaska Native consortium) went to Washington last week with a very reasonable request. They had written and asked for a meeting with EPA Director Lisa Jackson to talk with her about the Pebble Mine Project in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska.
You see, they represent the area of Alaska that is most affected by whether or not the enormous copper deposit is harvested. The situation for the tribes of that area is dire. The Native Alaskans of the area have little opportunity, and so many are leaving behind their homes and community to seek opportunity elsewhere. The migration away from the area is decimating the Native Alaskan culture, traditions and community. Without opportunity, few will be left to pass the traditions along to subsequent generations.
Williams and Reimers went to Washington to ask for the opportunity to save their community and culture. They didn’t ask for an bail-out. All they asked for was fair hearings for the Pebble Limited Partnership.
Nuna Resources and its native village constituency want to allow impartial scientific studies to build the Pebble Mine near their homes and villages. The natives do not specifically endorse the mine, which would exploit the largest known ore body of copper on the planet. But they want its proposed developer, the Pebble Limited Partnership, to be given a fair hearing for its claims of environmental and cultural protection on Native traditional lands.
Jackson would not even give Williams and Reimers a meeting. The EPA’s emailed reply their request for one — on Feb. 6, 7 or 8 — came just two days before their already-scheduled flights: “While the Administrator greatly appreciates this request, she will unfortunately be unavailable.”
The note ended, “Have a nice day.” Really.
If the Pebble Mine Project is safe, then they can have jobs and a chance to save their community. It would seem that fair hearings would be a very reasonable and rational request. Unfortunately for Williams, Reimers and the Native Alaskan community they represent, that doesn’t fit the party line. Their request was denied.
You have to HAVE ‘green’ to BE ‘green’ and no one is giving Nuna Resources millions of dollars like is being filtered through to the radical environmentalists. The monied left and well-heeled environmentalists don’t have a problem having their voices heard. They are backed by big money to fund AstroTurf faux outrage through groups like ‘Stop Pebble Mine’ and ‘Save Bristol Bay’. They have almost unlimited funding for advertising and public relations (propaganda?) from the millions donated by the likes of Gordon Moore of Intel, Tiffany Company Foundation and Brainerd Foundation who funnel money through anti-development Big Green groups like Natural Resources Defense Council, Trout Unlimited and EarthWorks.
While the Native Alaskans of the area are facing devastating economic hardships (paying $9 for a gallon of milk and $8 for a gallon of gas!) environmentalists are loudly declaring that harvesting the ample supplies of copper in the area will endanger the native salmon. The radical left ignores the reality of the situation. The area can have their fish and their jobs as well. The Pebble Mine study has just been released. The exhaustive scientific study conducted over 7-years at a cost of $150 million using more than 40 respected independent research firms represents the company’s commitment to protecting the fish and the environment as an integral part of the project.
Is it really better to get our copper from China than from Alaska? Will China be more concerned with protecting the environment than Americans? I think not. It seems to be more of a ‘not in my backyard’ kind of argument. We have to have copper so it will come from somewhere. Why insist it come from somewhere without the regulations and restrictions that will undoubtedly be MORE damaging to the environment? That’s irrational and counterproductive to the very cause they claim to embrace. But when has reason ever stopped a good money-making ’cause’. Buckets of money, in fact.
The problem is that while it’s a ‘feel good’ issue for many of the environmentalist – you know, stand up and make a big stand about something that you only know anything about at a very shallow level – its being done standing on the necks of the people who live in the area. The native people are suffering so some environmentalists can feel like their lives have meaning or some of the major financial backers can have even more money in their own portfolios.
In reality, mining copper and gold from the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska is a win-win situation for everyone involved (other than those who have a financial interest in stopping it). It is better for the environment (as opposed to getting the copper from somewhere else), it already is providing jobs in Alaska and will provide tens of thousands of jobs in the long run in a depressed area of the country and it will provide American’s copper at a better price than if it were bought from other countries.
Seriously, what is the downside?
The problem is that it flies in the face of the monied environmentalists that Obama is courting for his re-election campaign. He’s playing nice with the environmentalists while America jobs are being lost and the environment damaged by having us obtain copper from countries where how it is extracted from the Earth is not so well monitored.
Unless something is done, Obama and his environmentally radical EPA will ‘Keystone’ the Pebble mine project.
Here’s what you can do:
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