Ever alert to possible environmental problems, the Environmental Protection Agency has closed a mine in Alaska under the Clean Water Act. The mine was not polluting anything. It had not yet begun operations. But the EPA thought that it could, in theory, pollute. So, the EPA shut it down.
“Nip it in the bud!”
Under the Clean Water Act, operations that dump “dredge or fill materials” into wetlands, rivers, lakes, or streams are required to obtain a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA can revoke this permit if there are “unacceptable adverse impacts on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.”
However, the watershed assessment did not evaluate any actual plans for the Pebble Mine, as none have been put forward, instead it evaluates a hypothetical mine.
This is a new policy for the EPA.
This policy will raise the risk of preliminary development for all mining. This is ideal for destroying mining in the United States.
This is the goal of the environmental movement’s public spokesmen. They hate capitalism. They hate economic growth. Whatever the members think about these matters, the environmental movement as a political special-interest group is anti-growth.
The EPA is now clearly in the movement’s hip pocket.