This morning a coalition of non-partisan organizations from across the country sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson regarding a pending decision by the EPA that has signifcant economic implications.
The EPA is currently considering whether to deny permits to develop what would be Pebble Mine in Alaska prior to the submission of a permit application. If the EPA were to take this unprecedented action, it would not simply kill jobs at a time when the economy desperately needs more jobs, it would be a major blow to states' rights and regulatory certainty. This nationwide coalition, of which Americans for Tax Reform is a member, expressed grave concern in today's letter to Jackson:
"As this mineral exploration is occurring on state lands available for mining, our concerns are amplified even more. We agree with the Alaska Attorney General who believes that the EPA should drop this ill-advised approach that violates states’ rights.
The U.S. needs copper and we especially need jobs that come from resource development projects that propose significant investments, more than $6 billion in the case of Pebble. Such investment would have far reaching positive economic benefits not just for Alaska, but also for those American companies and workers who would build and supply a potential new strategic minerals mine.
Premature judgment and action by the EPA is cause for great concern, not just in Alaska, but across the country. Interested stakeholders should be able to gather information about the potential impacts of a mining plan, the potential economic effects, and the true risks of mining development near their communities once an actual plan has been proposed."
The signatories also warned agains the chilling impact such action would have on future projects:
"As is the case with the EPA’s overreach in attempting to veto water permits for West Virginia’s Spruce Mine (appropriately rejected by the courts), vetoing a fill permit for a potential copper mine before a plan has been filed is another ill-advised power grab by the agency. This agency action would have a dramatic chilling effect on investment in America and show that many third world countries have more regulatory certainty than the U.S."
To read the letter in its entirety, click here.