Posts Tagged by Lisa Jackson

Does the EPA Have Selective Hearing?

A few months ago we reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had snubbed Native American groups in an apparent effort to ‘Keystone’ the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska. The same group of mining supporters have tried to meet with EPA Director Lisa Jackson again and again she has refused to meet with them.

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

Both Native groups, community leaders and authorities (including Alaska’s Attorney General) have attempted to meet with and have their voices heard by the EPA. But it appears the EPA has developed selective hearing, only giving an ear to the voices of those who agree with the radical environmentalists who seem to oppose any development of resources within the United States.

A June 21, 2012 Greenwire article quotes an EPA spokesperson who states that the EPA has reached out to Native communities in Southwestern Alaska to offer them an opportunity to have their voices heard regarding the Pebble Mine Project. However, according to Trefon Angasan, board chairman of Alaska Peninsula Corp., a grouping of Alaska Native villages, the communities that have had the ear of the EPA aren’t close to the potential mining site. One of the communities Lisa Jackson has visited is Dillingham, Alaska, an anti-mining stronghold.

“We should have a consultation established with the EPA, and we don’t,” Angasan said, complaining about the lack of high-level consultation required for federally recognized tribes. “We have been excluded from the development of that watershed assessment.”

EPA’s comment period on the draft assessment runs through July 23. Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty (R) is calling for a delay until November.

“In short, this is a voluminous amount of complex information that requires thorough public review and comment,” Geraghty told the agency in a recent letter. “As EPA is well aware, normally such information for a specific proposed project takes several years to gather and be scientifically vetted and scrutinized by multiple state and federal agencies, which has not occurred here.”

Angasan said, “Right now, our people are gathering, they are fishing, they’re getting ready to fill their freezers for the summer so they can survive the winter. And they don’t have time to put everything aside.”

The EPA has not ruled out a preemptive veto of the Pebble Mine Project’s permitting process using the Clean Water Act. All this while the economic viability of the Native Alaskan communities in the area are tenuous at best. The Pebble Mine Project would inject jobs and businesses into the area that would not only allow the communities to survive, but would help them thrive. Lisa Reimers, CEO of Iliamna Development Corp. says that preemptively vetoing the development of Pebble Mine could amount to ‘cultural genocide’ for the Native peoples living in the area.

There is a lot at stake here. How this situation plays out in Alaska has implications far beyond Bristol Bay. The EPA’s unprecedented power grab and expansion impacts not only Alaskans and the Pebble Mine Project. If the EPA succeeds in preemptively shutting down the Pebble Mine Project, they will have the power to do the same with any project any where without input from local people and authorities.

This is not just about shutting down the jobs and economic boost available through the Pebble Mine Project. It is about the expansion of EPA’s power to use the Clean Water Act to shut down private citizens who just want to build a home or any other industrial project that attracts the ire of the radical environmentalists.

You can help by signing a letter, which will send an official comment to the EPA requesting that they extend the commenting period on Pebble, which is too short for a thoughtful discussion on this issue: Sign the letter here.

Lisa Jackson: EPA Tries to Dumb Down to Fifth Grade Level So Americans Can Understand

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

It has to be really difficult for all these super smart political people to have to dumb themselves down so Americans can understand them. Thus is the case for Lisa Jackson, the EPA Chief. In a recent interview that the reason people are upset with the Environmental Protection Agency is that the people just don’t understand the issues. She claims that its not over-regulation and President Obama’s stated goal of shutting down coal plants across the country, rather it is the free market that is determining coal production.

Not only that, but she questioned whether the American public could comprehend writing above a fifth grade level.

“In accordance with the law, we moved forward with sensible, cost effective steps at the federal level on climate, using the Clean Air Act.” And I would have a second sentence — see, I can’t write headlines! But it would be something like, ”The progress at state and local levels, combined with the federal level, does not obviate the need” — you can’t use obviate, it’s above fifth-grade level! — “does not obviate the need for federal legislation to address this incredibly important challenge for this and future generations.”

It doesn’t feel like We The People are getting any respect.

Read more here.

EPA threatens entire U.S. economy in attempt to kill the Pebble Mine

We have written before about the Pebble Mine, which is under threat of a preemptive shutdown due to an absurd power grab by the EPA.

These threats came to a head in the late afternoon last Friday (the perfect time to try to sneak underhanded tactics by people and hope no one notices), as the EPA “released a draft scientific study of the Bristol Bay watershed and its natural resources, conducted solely to form the basis for preemptively vetoing the Pebble Mine in Alaska.”

Keep in mind the Pebble Mine owners haven’t even applied for a permit, let alone gone through the permitting and vetting process, yet the EPA is already trying to block them. So much for an honest and fair chance.

Mineweb, a leading online publication covering the mining industry, writes:

Never mind that the U.S. Corps of Engineers has been the primary permitting authority for dredging and filling permits for mining projects impacting watersheds. Over the opposition of the Alaska attorney general [Michael Geraghty], Ranking Senate Energy & Resources Committee Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and others, the EPA is determined to wrest the permitting authority for itself, using the power it believes was granted by the Clean Water Act.

You can read the EPA report here [PDF].

Let us be clear: This is a pure power grab by unelected, unaccountable EPA bureaucrats. This report could mean that the EPA can kill any project that could potentially impact water, without the project ever going through the permitting process, and without input from state, local, or other federal agencies.

In fact, Wizbang Blog reports:

An article from Inside the EPA (subscription required) shows that environmentalists couldn’t be happier, and want the EPA to use this plan to kill other projects…
“Environmentalists are now calling on the agency to conduct a similar assessment of mining activity in the Great Lakes region. The Bristol Bay study “is comparable to what we’d like to see” in the Great Lakes, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) attorney Michelle Halley said on a May 10 conference call.”

How can you help?

1. Let EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and members of Congress know what you think about this unprecedented power grab.
2. On Twitter? Follow @ResourceEarth for updates and tweet your thoughts using the hashtags #YesPebble and #GivePebbleAChance
3. Comment on news articles, saying why you support Pebble Mine and oppose this expansion of EPA power.

For further reading:
Has the EPA overstepped its bounds with Pebble Project assessment? (Mineweb)
The EPA is annexing Alaska (Wizbang Blog)
EPA finds mining could affect fish, water as residents fight prospect near Alaska fishery (Washington Post)
EPA: Mining Could Affect Quality of Water, Fish (Associated Press)
Alaska AG says EPA’s actions ‘unlawful’ (Legal Newsline)

Native Alaskans Snubbed: Will Obama’s EPA ‘Keystone’ the Pebble Mine Project?

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.

Barack Obama and Lisa Jackson

Barack Obama and Lisa Jackson

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:

  • Add your comments to the article written by Ron Arnold. Tell the nay-sayers they are out of touch!
  • Share this story with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Use this link to share: http://bit.ly/yV2XPQ
  • Tweet this story using the hash tag #GivePebbleAChance. You can follow and mention us @ResourceEarth as well.
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EPA Regulations Cost Jobs and Money

Lisa Jackson

The high cost of the current record number of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations is costing both jobs and money. The agency is under scrutiny from Congress this week.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faced scrutiny on Capitol Hill again this week over the high costs of its record number of environmental regulations. During a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee, the agency’s air chief denied consequences of the Clean Air Act on jobs and the economy and argued that her agency’s rules relating to automobiles and fuel economy actually creates jobs and support small businesses.

These claims echo those of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who testified earlier this summer before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and cited specious economic benefits of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

They say the extensive regulations that are choking American energy independence are saving $2 Trillion per year. How does one determine that amount of money saved on such nebulous and subjective data?

The much-touted $2 trillion claim is based on survey data that asks individuals what they would be “willing to pay” (called “stated” WTP) for a small increase in life expectancy and the wage differential between occupations of different riskiness, such as a commercial fishermen compared to an office worker (“revealed” WTP). The academic surveys of WTP used by EPA have no link to overall economic activity and do not address how (or if) WTP affects the components of GDP (consumption, investment, government spending and net exports). “Willingness to Pay” responses by survey participants or the wage differential between occupations with different levels of risk do not create any new jobs, cause any investment or increase levels of spending in the U.S. economy.

Ironically, EPA’s own simulations with its macroeconomic model stand in stark contrast to its WTP claims. Its modeling shows that the CAAA has significant negative impacts on U.S. GDP growth over the 2010-2020 period. GDP declines by $79 billion in 2010 and by $110 billion in 2020 relative to the baseline forecast.

By 2020, there is a tiny increase in GDP ($5 billion) under the labor force adjusted case. Note that EPA’s calculation of a $5 billion increase in GDP in 2020 when health benefits are included is only a tiny fraction (0.25 %) of the $2 trillion in claimed “economic benefits” from the CAAA.

Other EPA regulations both enacted and pending, should also be evaluated using accepted methods to quantify their costs and benefits. For example, the proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the new standards for industrial and utility boilers and the revisions to the Clean Water Act will raise costs and increase uncertainty for the private sector, states and municipalities. New, tighter emission standards should not be imposed with out careful review of their costs relative to their benefits.

In other words they can’t substantiate that claim. There is too much at state in terms of our economy, unemployment and the need for American energy independence to continue to tighten the government’s grip on free enterprise through EPA regulations. Its time to let go of these pet political agendas and use some common sense to strengthen our country’s economy.

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