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8-13-14 EPA's Alaska Hearings Began Yesterday

13 August 2014 8:49am

Alaska Miners Association Summary of Yesterday's Meeting

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ADN by Lisa Demer.  The fight over the proposed Pebble Deantha Crockett, Alasaka Miners Association, EPA, Overreach, Pebble, 404B, preemptive action, rule of law, due process, Photo by Dave Harbourmine came to the Egan Center on Tuesday at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s public hearing before a crowd of hundreds, some holding salmon cutouts or wearing anti-Pebble stickers and others with red stop signs saying “Hands off Alaska.”     ***     Deantha Crockett, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association (NGP Photo), told EPA that she fields calls regularly from potential financiers wondering whether it’s safe to invest in mining here.

“And I don’t know what to say to them,” she said.

Her organization has repeatedly urged EPA to allow Pebble to move through permitting.

“I am discouraged and can only expect that our pleas for science and law will again be ignored.”

(See one of our earlier comments on EPA overreach and the Rule of Law.  If EPA gets away with violating Constitutional due process guarantees by preemptively blocking this project, it can preemptively block any federal, state, local government or private project in the nation or offshore within national waters.   Below is th Alaska Miners Association summary of yesterday's hearing.  -dh)


AMA Members:


Yesterday, EPA held its first of a series of public meetings on the Proposed Determination Pursuant to Section 404c of the Clean Water Act for the Pebble Deposit Area, in Anchorage.

The hearing lasted around five hours, with approximately 125 people signed up to testify.  Testimony began with Tom Collier, CEO of Pebble Partnership, who urged the EPA to wait for their mine plans to be submitted; and at that time, allow a lengthy public comment process and project evaluation.  State of Alaska Attorney General Mike Geraghty powerfully stated that we should not be afraid of the existing permitting process and we should not be afraid of evaluating projects through science.

From elected officials and the public at large, AMA would specifically like to thank the following members for their testimony:

Senator Cathy Giessel, Representative Pete Higgins, Alicia Amberg, Martha Anelon, Trefon Angasan, Chris Birch, Jason Brune, Bill Ellis, Howard Grey, Marleanna Hall, Mike Heatwole, Josie Hickel, Bill Jeffress, Roger Jenkins, Josh Kindred on behalf of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, Sean Magee, Rob Retherford, Rick Rogers, Randy Ruedrich, John Shively, Lorali Simon, and Dennis Stacey.  In addition, we appreciate those who stuck around for several hours but didn't get the chance to testify, including Kati Capozzi, Rebecca Logan, Rachael Petro and Andy Rogers. 

(Note: If I missed you on this list, I am responsible for the omission, and I'm truly sorry!  Please let me know if I missed you.)

I provided testimony on behalf of AMA, and noted that we have previously submitted, five different times, our concerns with the flawed assessment and the abandonment of the permitting process, and that our concerns have never been heard or addressed.  I also noted that AMA receives calls frequently about the investment climate in Alaska, and it has changed drastically and negatively as a result of this process.

We posted many quotes from these testimonies on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  You don't have to be on Facebook to view them; just click here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alaska-Miners-Association/266705696777643?ref=hl 


News articles: 




You can still comment!

Finally, I know that a large majority of you are outside of Anchorage or could not be a part of yesterday's hearing.  You can still comment!  With our Federal Oversight Committee, we will be developing lengthy and technical comments on behalf of AMA and will submit them by the September 19 deadline.  We encourage you to do the same!  See how here: http://www2.epa.gov/bristolbay/public-involvement-bristol-bay-404c-process#comments


Thank you very much for your involvement in this critical issue!

Deantha Crockett
Executive Director
Alaska Miners Association
(907) 270-9234 direct
(907) 563-9229 main
(907) 317-6323 mobile
121 W. Fireweed Lane, Suite 120
Anchorage, AK 99503

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12 August 2014 2:09pm

ADN by Tim Bradner.  The contentious vote on Ballot Measure 1, asking voters whether or not to repeal the oil production tax change made in 2013, is seven days away.

But since everyone else is blathering on about this, I want my final two cents’ worth.

Two arguments made for the repeal, and against the new tax law, really surprise me. One is that the change will cost revenues and rob future state budgets. The second is that SB 21 takes away incentives for oil exploration, which everyone supports (we need more oil in the pipeline).

Both are wrong. The reality is just the opposite.



11 August 2014 5:37am

Wall Street Journal by Cassandra Sweet and Jim Carlton.  In U.S. Energy Boom, Alaska Is Unlikely Loser.  former Dominant Oil Player Losing Out To Places Like North Dakota.

Note: The Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) urges our NGP readers in Anchorage to attend and testify at an EPA Public Hearing TOMORROW.  We and RDC believe that any project in Alaska should be vetted through existing permitting processes, and be properly evaluated through the National Environmental Policy Act.  Public testimony will be limited to two minutes per person, with tribal elders (i.e. Why not ALL ELDERS; is this discriminatory?) and elected officials invited to testify first.  Public comments are planned to be selected at random.  

Note that in the past we have seen federal tribunals like this allow 'tribal elders' and environmental activists to exceed the 2 minute limit by over 20 minutes while making sure other witnesses were held strictly to the limit.  -dh

Please see attached for RDC’s alert or view it online (http://www.akrdc.org/alerts/2014/epaproposeddeterminationalert.html).  Also attached is an alert from http://www.AKStopEPA.com.

Here is our Friday editorial on this subject: "Is The Federal Government Destroying America's Economy?"




07 August 2014 10:04pm

See Our Commentary On Federal Government Comment Periods Now Underway

Calgary Herald by Dan Healing.  Pengrowth Energy Corp. will deliver output from its Lindbergh thermal oilsands project starting next year on a pipeline operated by heavy oil rival Husky Energy Inc., it reported Thursday after markets closed.

Tim Bradner, Nikiski, Land Acquisition, LNG, Alaska, Dave Harbour PhotoHomer News by Tim Bradner (NGP Photo, Nikiski, Circa 2002).  The Alaska LNG Project LLC has purchased 120.4 acres from private landowners for a large liquefied natural gas plant at Nikiski, has an additional 97 acres under contract for purchase and also is working with the Kenai Peninsula Borough on conveyance of 29.9 areas....

Is the Federal Government Destroying America's Economy?

What do federal comment periods have to do with this question?


Dave Harbour

We arrived at a difficult conclusion many months ago.

Any child could see that the rising level of federal government lies, hypocracyattacks on economic enterprises and willing participation in the Enviro-Industrial-Governmental Cabal could only reflect the most stupid and clueless leadership in the history of the world or, a carefully designed program to destroy the United States -- as we know and love it -- from within.  

It's not about energy, carbon emission, NPR-A, ANWR, Pebble Mine, health care, EPA/NSA/IRS overreach, etc., we concluded.  It's not about any of these issues.  Normal, free citizens need to understand: it's about the accumulation of power.  As the Administration's power increases, so do constituencies supporting the Administration: paycheck dependent bureaucrats and government program beneficiaries.  As free enterprise projects are blocked, delayed and diminished, the resources, political and voting power of wealth creators is diminished.

There is no big secret here.  The Administration and its spokesmen over time have been very clear about an agenda to, "fundamentally transform the United States of America."

...from Saul Alinsky's, "Rules for Radicals" comes this nihilist philosophy studied by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:

 “The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms.

In other words, Alinsky’s radical is not going to worry about the legality or morality of his actions, only their practical effects. 

If they advance the cause they are justified. “He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work.”

Dostoevsky famously wrote that, “if God does not 
exist then everything is permitted.”  p. 38

Energy and other natural resource investors an employees need to read and understand what is going on:

Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model, By David Horowitz 
2009, and

The Shadow Party and the Shadow Government: George Soros And The Effort To Radically Change America, by By David Horowitz and John Perazzo
2011, and

Discovering the Networks

Since the President and the socialist and anarchist mentors (12, 3, 4, 5) upon whom he relies are not stupid, we are left with the sole conclusion that regulatory assaults like the ones noted here are intended.  

Citizens, at this point, have few options but to aggressively participate in the public comment period of these issues.  Little to no opposing comment of these proposed government actions gives future courts no choice but to say, "Well, the preponderance of comment supported the Administration proposal and we are not inclined to substitute our judgment for that of a regulatory agency which has abided by its notice requirements."  

Chances are, as in the case of the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, the Administration will go on and promulgate the rules it wished to enact, anyway.  

But it would be helpful to future litigation were this Administration to promulgate unpopular rules that had been opposed by a strong constituency throughout the various comment periods.  

Please read and Act On This US Chamber Warning that could be a death knell to economic recovery, a "climate change" issue earlier articulated by the President -- and this Resource Development Council For Alaska Warning that a precedent of preemptive project blocking could threaten all municipal, state and private projects on public and private lands!

Regarding the latter: preemptive action against project planning gives America the 'rule-of-law' status of a banana republic whose leaders would be empowered to make decisions without providing citizens with their constitutional rights of due process.  By this action, citizens would be denied the right to petition their government and receive a fair hearing leading to a just decision.

This situation is both treacherous and heartbreaking.  But the handwriting is on the wall and it is reality.   

While we're at it, faithful NGP readers should also be heard on the Feds' comment period regarding an upcoming five-year Outer Continental Shelf leasing plan.  Consumer Energy Alliance provides this helpful portal.  -dh

The most dangerous position a person or company can now take is to deny the highly coordinated assault which is upon us and, therefore, refuse to participate, prepare and defend.    


US Chamber Warning OF EPA Attack On American Economy!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a series of hearings last week on its controversial effort to impose sweeping new regulations on carbon emissions. This unprecedented wave of regulations on affordable energy will result in higher electricity bills, fewer jobs, and slower economic growth. 

If you weren’t one of the 1,600 people who attended one of the hearings held in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, or Washington, D.C. last week, it’s critical that you still make your voice heard.


Think the EPA regulations won’t directly impact you? Think again. Here are a few things you need to know about the EPA’s massive regulatory overreach and attack on affordable energy:

  • By the EPA’s own estimates, the regulations will impose nationwide electricity cost increases by 6-7% and up to 12% in some locations.
  • Rising electricity costs will place America’s job creators at a disadvantage with foreign competitors,forcing more businesses and jobs to move overseas.
  • EPA projects annual compliance costs between $5.4 and $7.4 billion in 2020, rising up to $8.8 billion in 2030.
  • The regulations will decrease reliability in our energy supply and increase the potential for blackouts at times Americans rely on electricity the most.
  • The regulations will impose billions in costs on the U.S. economy and threaten thousands of jobs. And for what? Upon full implementation in 2030, global carbon emissions will only be reduced by a mere1.3% -- the equivalent of just 13.5 days of emissions from China.

Despite the magnitude, cost, and incredible complexity of the EPA’s proposal, the agency plans to finalize and implement the regulations on a rushed and arbitrary timeline after only four public hearings, limited review of the proposal, and a brief 120-day comment period. 

We can only stand up to the EPA’s job-killing regulations if we make our voices heard. 

It will only take a minute of your time. Will you add your name? 

Click here to weigh in with the EPA and demand additional public hearings, an extended comment period, comprehensive analysis by independent organizations, and additional time for states to review the proposal.

This is your chance to have a say in sweeping regulations that will impact entire communities, threaten our energy supply, increase electricity bills, and cost jobs and economic growth. 

We also encourage you to personalize the comments to tell the EPA how these regulations will directly impact you, your family, and your community. 

Thank you,

Rob Engstrom
SVP and National Political Director
U.S. Chamber of Commerce



U.S. Chamber of Commerce 1615 H Street, NW Washington DC 20062-2000
To learn more about our network, visit Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


RDC Warning!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Proposed Determination of the U.S. EPA Region 10 Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act on the Pebble Deposit Area.  The document attempts to assess the effects of a potential mining project, without the project plans. 
The proposed determination is a flawed, conclusion-driven document, does not contain site-specific development and mitigation plans, and is based on a hypothetical project that is misleading and inaccurate.
RDC maintains that any project in Alaska should be vetted through existing permitting processes, and be properly evaluated through the National Environmental Policy Act.
Beyond projects in the Bristol Bay region, the EPA's actions set a dangerous precedent for any development project in Alaska, as well as across the nation.
Action requested:
RDC encourages its members to “save the date” for upcoming public hearings:  

August 12th 2:00 p.m. • Anchorage



8-7-14 NIMBY and "palpable tensions" among stakeholders

07 August 2014 4:46am

A Fairbanks columnist (i.e. below) admits a conflict of interest -- then opposes a pipeline gravel site possibly needed for a gas pipeline that could lower Fairbanks consumer energy costs.  

It is a classic example of NIMBY, "Not In My Back Yard".  We do not suggest it is improper for a columnist to pen commentary.  Neither do we proclaim NIMBY to be a 'bad' thing.  We do suggest NIMBY is a reality upon which pipeline 'stakeholder relations' professionals must concentrate.  

There is a palpable tension among various special interests: affected neighbors, consumers-at-large, pipeline engineers, local and state politicians and the ticking clock which calculates rising costs of delay just as surely as it tells the time.  -dh

Fairbanks News Miner by Kris Capps.  Two areas in the borough are being considered as possible material sites, or gravel pits, for an in-state gas pipeline, and the Denali Borough wants to know what residents think about it.  ...  In the interest of full disclosure, readers should know this is my neighborhood, and I own a home on Karma Ridge.  ... The thought of our one-lane neighborhood road becoming a major route for truckloads of materials causes me great concern.

Doc Hastings, Natural Resources Committee, EPA Overreach, Dave Harbour PhotoYesterday, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers voicing strong concerns over the Corps’ settlement this week with Columbia Riverkeeper, a group that for years has sued the federal government and favors removal of Northwest dams. The settlement, which involves payment of over $140,000 in taxpayer-funded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiff, would vastly expand the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over Army Corps’ dam operations nationwide. These dams, especially those in the Pacific Northwest, are the major source of clean, renewable electricity, irrigation, flood control, and navigation.

“Incredibly, I understand that no one other than U.S. Department of Justice or Army Corps lawyers were made aware of the terms of this sweeping settlement before it was finalized, and signed by a judge.  Like an increasing number of the Obama Administration’s ‘sue and settle’ agreements over the past few years, this settlement was negotiated behind closed-doors by the Justice Department with a litigious group without consultation or input from those most directly impacted,” wrote Chairman Hastings in the letter. Of great concern is the likely precedent that this decision could have relating to the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act, relating to the operation and maintenance of federal and non-federal dams, irrigation and maintenance of a vital navigational link on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. This comes amidst the EPA’s hugely controversial ‘Waters of the U.S.’ proposal, which could shut down a host of water development projects and make it easier for litigious groups to sue to block them. I would request an immediate and thorough explanation of the Army Corps’ rationale and details of its actions relative to this settlement, not just to Congress, but also to all affected state, local tribal and other stakeholders that have an interest in the Army Corps’ dam operations nationwide.”



06 August 2014 8:21am

News Miner by Jeff Richardson.  Jim Plaquet has crunched the numbers, and he presents a few pieces of scratch paper filled with tiny handwritten figures to prove it.  Contractors, welding shops, trucking companies and more — they’ve all seen an employment boost since the Legislature passed Senate Bill 21, its industry-friendly overhaul of the state’s oil tax structure. Last winter — the first production season since the new system was signed in 2013 — included a hiring spike that hasn’t been seen in years, he said.

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