Posts Tagged by Mining

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)

Tiffany Trusts Botswana Gold over US!

Tiffany Gift Box

Any multi-billion dollar business that depends on mining diamonds, silver and gold from the Earth is going to get pressure from environmental activists. After all, harvesting and refining precious gems and materials is the cornerstone of their business. Such is the case of Tiffany & Co, one of the largest high-end diamond retailers in the world

Apparently Tiffany has answered the environmentalists pressure by joining their cause.

But now Tiffany has started to put money and its public prestige into the effort to stop development of the proposed Pebble Mine, which is located two hundred miles southwest of Anchorage in the Bristol Bay area. Tiffany is one of the sponsors of a “roadshow” put on by “Save Bristol Bay.”

The roadshow consists of public screenings in six Western cities (Seattle, Portland, Corvallis, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Denver) in October and a private screening in New York City on November 1st of a propaganda film that claims that the Pebble Mine would harm or even destroy Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery.

This charge would be extremely worrying if there were any chance that the mine would pollute the rivers, because the Bristol Bay watershed is the largest sockeye fishery in the world and has big runs of several other varieties of salmon. If this were 1911 or even 1961, that would be a legitimate concern. But in 2011, federal environmental controls are so strict that the water that new mines put back into rivers is cleaner than before the water was taken out of the river.

Is Tiffany Twisted? It seems that now the jewelry giant is not only condoning but helping to promote and sponsoring the ‘Save Bristol Bay‘ dog and pony show.

Tiffany & Co. expresses genuine concern for the environment on their website. In their statement they state they will raise ‘our voice to publicly oppose new mine developments that threaten places of high environmental and cultural value.’ This could be the hook that drove Tiffany to raise their voice against Pebble Mine. I’m sure the company is completely sincere in their concerns for the environment. After all, if there were no mines, there would be no Tiffany.

The Pebble Mine Project sits on top of one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits in the world. They have been subjected to literally years of permitting processes and regulatory delays. They have spent millions in setting up environmental safeguards and guarantees. Yet Tiffany & Co conduct their mining operations in Botswana and other third world countries. To their credit they have made an effort to see that their operations are in countries like Botswana, one of the less corrupt countries in Africa, to ensure any profit from their operations are not used in conflicts between waring factions. Still the regulations and controls of a mine in the United States will undoubtedly be much less ‘dirty gold’ than any mined in other more remote and less regulated, parts of the world.

So why go after Pebble Mine and other mining interests in the United States while mining in Africa? Is it a matter of ‘out of sight, out of mind’? You know, get your gold, just don’t get it in my back-yard – oh, or my favorite fishing spot! Or, even more cynical, is it a matter of understanding that neither the Native Alaskans who are out of work because the Pebble Mine Project can’t be built due to government regulations nor the Botswanans who are mining and refining their diamonds are likely to ever buy an engagement ring from Tiffany. Whereas the wealthy environmental elite most certainly will be their customers. Not hard to make that choice, is it? Business is business.

I’m sure their intentions are good, but meanwhile American jobs are lost and being outsourced to Africa and our dependence on foreign resources continues to grow.

A kiss on the hand of the environmental may be awful nice, just get that ice in Africa, or else no dice.

Obama Administration Shutting Down Power Plants: EPA Green Job Killer

Lisa Jackson, EPA

When Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency in 2007 and 2008 he said he would shut down the coal industry and energy prices would necessarily skyrocket. Apparently he meant what he said then and he is putting his ideology into practice now … at the expense of the American people and tens of thousands of American jobs, through rules, regulations and laws.

Get ready for the sacrifice of tens of thousands more American jobs (at least) to feed the fantasy of “clean energy.” Even as the “green jobs” promise proves to be a lie, the Obama administration is getting set to force the shutdown of countless power plants across half the nation.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, announced last month, will affect coal-fired electric plants in at least 27 midwestern and eastern states. Set to take effect next year, the rule could shutter up to a fifth of the nation’s generating capacity.

With coal providing 45 percent of the nation’s energy, utility companies warn of an economic “train wreck” if the regulations — based on Bush-era EPA proposals that the federal courts threw out in 2008 — take effect. One Wisconsin utility says its costs would jump $32.6 million next year, while the head of the Texas Public Utility Commission says the rules could lead to rolling blackouts — especially given the short time the utilities have to comply with Washington’s iron fist.

Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, warns of job losses totaling 1.4 million over the next eight years and a 23 percent jump in electric rates in states dependent on coal-fired plants.

With unemployment still sky-high, new jobless claims routinely hitting 400,000 a week and consumer prices rising, is this really the time to hobble the nation’s reeling economy further?

Absolutely, says autocratic EPA chief Lisa Jackson — who could possibly be against improving the air quality for up to 240 million Americans? “Just because wind and weather will carry air pollution away from its source at a local power plant doesn’t mean that pollution is no longer that plant’s responsibility.”

Fine — but wouldn’t it be nice if the EPA could prove real health effects before forcing the shutdown of so many plants?

Environmental extremists cheer the new rules because closing “dirty” coal plants is part of their fantasy of “clean energy” and green jobs. But the reality is otherwise. Even backed by stimulus funds, “green” business after business has flopped or folded, costing taxpayers millions.

In Seattle, a plan called Retrofit Ramp-Up sucked up $20 million in federal grants to make houses more energy efficient. The result: so far, only three homes retrofitted and just 14 jobs “created.” California got $186 million for a similar program and has spent just over half of it — with just 538 new full-time jobs to show for it.

Costco recently announced that it’s yanking out some 90 electric-car chargers at 64 of its stores, mostly in California — because nobody uses them. The discount retailer also rejected the offer of a $2.3 million upgrade by the California Energy Commission. “Why should we have anybody spend money on a program that nobody’s thought through?” said one regional manager.

So let’s get this straight: At the same time it’s spending millions of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a chimera, the Obama administration is attacking the wellsprings of US prosperity, throwing people out of work and raising consumer costs. This isn’t just insane; it’s malevolent.

Nobody’s in favor of dirtier air or water, of childhood asthma or killing puppies. But progressives often seem to think that there’s never any cost for their crackpot notions, that no amount of money can ever possibly be too much, even if we have to borrow or print it. If people are thrown out of work in the process, tough.

Worst of all is the increasingly arbitrary reach of the regulatory state. President Richard Nixon created the EPA by executive order in 1970, in a hasty response to an oil spill near Santa Barbara. “The 1970s absolutely must be the years when America pays its debt to the past by reclaiming the purity of its air, its waters and our living environment,” he said.

That was 41 years ago. The nation’s air and water have noticeably improved since then — but they’ll never be clean enough to satisfy some. To people like Lisa Jackson, we need to keep on paying — even if it kills us.

Welcome to the ‘hope and change’ that candidate Obama offered the American people. Is this what you thought he meant?