COMMENTARY: We have never sent an email alert out over the weekend. We did so today because we fear that — no matter how one feels about a certain project — the federal government is very close to setting a precedent that will forever compromise the "Rule of Law" in the United States of America.
Americans for Tax Reform have pointed out that the EPA killing an Alaska mine project before a permit for review is submitted is like a judge issuing a verdict before hearing the case.
As you will see, from reading our letter below, we believe that the EPA is about to set a precedent of preemptively disapproving projects the sponsors haven’t fully vetted or applied for.
They are about to kill the concept of regulatory due process.
They are about to mortally wound America’s concept of the "Rule of Law".
If the EPA can do this to one mining project, it can do it to any natural resource project.
If the EPA gets away with this outrage, any federal agency can preemptively act — without Congressional support — to kill projects under their jurisdiction.
If this Administration can kill projects at will, any Administration can easily slip into the role of dictatorship.
Don’t let the EPA continue to abuse its authority. Save the established permitting process in accordance with the law. We’ve only got one more day. Click here to comment electronically by the Sunday deadline.
To help our readers, here is a good analysis by the Resource Development Council for Alaska. Below is the letter that I sent yesterday. Email us your letters and we’ll post them here on Sunday.
ATTN: Bob Perciasepe, Acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator
Dear Director Perciasepe:
As former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska I am dedicated to the principles underlying the rule of law.
The rule of law, as it has evolved in our country, consists of a predictable, due process.
In the case of natural resource projects, due process involves completion of environmental studies and the filing of permit applications, among other things.
Should a regulatory agency act to discourage or prohibit an entity from exploring its lawful, due processes before it even files a permit application, it undermines the rule of law.
If your agency uses its assessment to prevent a potential applicant like the Pebble Partnership from acting within the body of current law, I believe you would find yourself guilty of a taking of that Partnership’s rights and diminishing the rule of law in our country.
Furthermore, the precedent set by such a taking would make it more risky, and, therefore, less likely that other entities subject to such treatment would consider natural resource investments in the United States.
As a fellow, former regulator, I would urge you during this time of transitional leadership to carefully review this process, undertaken by a previous management. No matter how well intended it may have been, continuing the process awakens a foreboding specter of uncertainty and a likelihood that confidence in America’s federal regulatory process has been forever tainted.
Please terminate this inappropriate Bristol Bay Assessment and invigorate the rule of law by recommitting the agency to a predictable and lawful due process.
2440 E Tudor Rd.
Anchorage AK 99507