EPA rejects proposed Alaska mine that is critical to Biden’s ‘green energy’ goals

The dirty little secret behind the “clean” green energy movement is that a lot of fossil fuel-intensive work and pollutant-heavy processes are involved in the mining and refining of the vital raw materials and resources necessary for purportedly environmentally-friendly green energy producers like solar panels and windmills.

That has led to a conundrum for President Joe Biden’s administration, as the Environmental Protection Agency just recommended rejecting a proposed mine project in Alaska that would produce massive quantities of copper, gold, molybdenum, and other minerals necessary for Biden’s “clean energy transition” goals, the Daily Caller reported.

In addition to hamstringing the administration’s own green agenda, the EPA recommendation would also deny the Southwestern Alaska region where the proposed mine would be located upwards of $8 billion in anticipated revenue from royalties and taxes as well as other benefits the mine site would bring.

Recommendation against approval

On Thursday, the EPA issued its recommendation against approval of the requisite permits to construct and develop a mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed region due to its assessment that waste material disposal could have a detrimental impact on the environment, particularly as it relates to the aquatic habitat of the region’s abundant population of salmon.

That determination appears to conflict somewhat with that of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which conducted an Environmental Impact Statement study in July 2020 and found that the proposed mine would likely have a minimal impact on the watershed and its aquatic inhabitants.

The Corps of Engineers nonetheless rejected a permit application for the mine at that time, though it has since accepted and is considering an appeal of that decision.

Mine production would be quite lucrative for region

Meanwhile, the company behind the proposed Pebble Project mine, Northern Dynasty Minerals, released a thorough report of its own that outlined the estimated economic benefits of the project as well as possible environmental impacts and the efforts that would be undertaken to minimize and mitigate against any impact.

It was assessed that the Pebble Mine would sit atop mineral deposits estimated to include upwards of 80.6 billion pounds of copper and around 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum — of which only around 1.5 billion pounds would be initially extracted — two minerals that are crucial for the construction of solar panels, windmills, and geothermal energy facilities, among many other things.

The mine site also includes abundant deposits of gold, silver, and other precious or rare mineral resources. All told, it was predicted that the Pebble mine could generate up to $8 billion in revenue for the Southwestern Alaska region, as well as up to $1.7 billion in state taxes and royalties and $1.4 billion in federal taxes and royalties.

A “frightening” precedent that also undermines admin goals

Of the EPA’s decision to recommend against approval of the proposed mine, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune told the Daily Caller, “This isn’t just about Pebble … the precedent this is setting is frightening and will be used going forward by those wanting to stop projects and will send an absolutely chilling message to the investment world about opportunities in the U.S.”

John Shively, CEO of the Pebble project, told the outlet, “EPA is not only taking significant tax and royalties from the citizens of Alaska but is also taking away contributions to the Permanent Fund and the dividends it provides to our people,” and rightly added, “In addition, EPA gives little to no consideration to the critical role copper will play in our nation’s transition to more renewable sources of power.”

It will be interesting to see if President Biden’s administration accedes to the EPA and blocks the mining project that is critical to their own “clean green energy” goals or overrides that agency and orders approval of the project that will not only be lucrative for Alaskans but also further his own environmental agenda overall.

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