EPA to Give Itself Powers to Preemptively Deny Natural Resource Development?

-By Warner Todd Huston

Once again an Obama regulatory agency tries to give itself wild new powers, powers that would crush American energy and natural resource development, powers meant to quash the business sector.

A press release from Resourceful Earth News imparts a warning about the Environmental Protection Agency’s newest powergrab. A lfet-wing Democrat Senator is asking the EPA to accept the idea of taking upon itself the power to deny mining or development of other natural resources before any scientific studies or any permitting procedures even begin. This Senator wants the EPA to just say no because, well, simply because it feels like it.

This effort is at the behest of Washington Senator Maria Cantwell (Dem.) who is urging the EPA to invoke the Clean Water Act to put a permanent end to the development of Pebble Mine in Alaska. Pebble Mine owners have already spent $120 million over three years to satisfy federal and state government regulations. Expensive and expansive scientific studies and environmental studies have already been conducted but now that the EPA has agreed to launch its scientific analysis of the mine, Cantwell wants the EPA to preempt the environmental review process the EPA itself put in place and simply decide to prevent the operation of the mine out of hand with no science needed to back it up.

If the EPA decides to try this new tact to quash American energy production and mining of natural resources, then it would from this point forward be able to wholly dispense with any need to rely on scientific facts to determine the viability of the culling of our own natural resources, those resources that made this country great. The EPA would have the precedent to shut down the use of any land merely because it deems it should be done.

Talk about the end of private property rights and the destruction of our energy and mining industries!

RE News notes that even if the mine is given permission to actually open it will still have to go through “67 federal, state, and local agencies for approvals and permits.”

Even center left Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is against this new powergrab by the EPA.

As Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote, a preemptive veto of the Pebble Mine project will expand the powers of the EPA and “could have widespread and unintended consequences for any development project, including airports and other infrastructure.” Cantwell’s actions make a mockery of the federal environmental review process and leave Americans even more dependent on foreign sources to meet our needs for natural resources and energy. More American jobs will be lost and it will be another blow to our already shaky economy.

The press release give a few ways to stop Cantwell and the EPA’s obscene abuse of power.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001