08 Oct 2020 Trump Credibility Lies in Pebble Mine Permit
Warning President Donald Trump that further political stalling on the Pebble Mine could put at risk both Alaska’s economy and the president’s own reputation as a deregulator, National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof, Esq., has joined over 60 conservative leaders affiliated with the Conservative Action Project in a coalition letter. This letter asks the president “to order that the regulatory process now move forward in strict accordance with the law and without further delays based on groundless claims.”
The Pebble Mine, a proposed gold and copper mine in southwestern Alaska, has been the target of special interest protests for years. It was boosted by a positive final environmental impact statement issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in late July. But the process seems to be delayed again as the Corps has reportedly asked for more environmental concessions from the proposed mine’s developers.
The coalition letter, sent to the White House in late September, states:
In a speech on July 16 before an enthusiastic audience on the South Lawn, you proudly marked the progress that your administration has made in its “historic campaign to rescue American workers from job-killing regulations.” Conservatives applaud the progress made so far on your broad regulatory reform agenda and strongly support your continuing efforts to remove obstacles to environmental permitting of natural resource and infrastructure projects.
That is why many of us were disturbed by reports of White House meddling in the permitting process for the Pebble Mine in Alaska. It recalls the bad old days when the Obama administration misused its Clean Water Act authority and used bogus science to veto the project before an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had even been submitted.
The letter adds:
The Pebble Mine, although a mere pinprick on the vast Alaska landscape, would create enormous wealth and provide immense economic benefits to America. We urge you to prohibit any further political meddling and let the Corps proceed to issue the permits necessary for this important project to move forward. Thank you for your attention to our concerns.
Specifically, the coalition gives President Trump three important reasons to support the final approval of the Pebble Mine:
- It would uphold the credibility of the Trump Administration’s deregulation agenda and not discourage the mining industry.
- It would allow Alaska to diversify its economy away from being overly dependent on oil.
- It would encourage further benefits beyond Alaska, including additional Pebble Mine deposits of rare earth minerals that are critical to the American high-tech industries (which are currently dependent on China).
In addition to Justin, other signers to the Conservative Action Project letter include CAP Chairman Alfred S. Regnery, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Thomas Pyle of the American Energy Alliance, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance and Paula Easley of the Alaska Policy Forum. It is also signed by former federal officials, including Becky Norton Dunlop (former assistant secretary, Interior Department), T. Kenneth Cribb (former White House chief domestic advisor), Donald P. Hodel (former secretary, Energy Department and Interior Department) and Joseph A. Morris (former assistant attorney general).
To read the entire CAP coalition letter to President Trump regarding the future of the Pebble Mine, click here.