by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Thomas Collier is a Democrat who managed environmental policy for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Then he noticed a mining opportunity in Alaska, one he calls “the single largest deposit of gold and silver that is not being developed in the entire world.”
Tom’s company hired hundreds of people to study the Pebble Mine’s potential environmental impact, a first step before asking the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to dig. Usually, the EPA analyzes a company’s study, then does its own research, then rules. But in this case, the EPA did something odd — it rejected the mine before Pebble even got its application in.
That’s never happened before, says Collier.
So why would the EPA do that? It’s simple: the agency has been captured by environmental zealots.
One of the world’s biggest environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council, opposed the mine. The NRDC doesn’t do science well — it employs mostly lawyers, not scientists — but the lawyers are good at raising money by scaring people about supposed environmental “disasters” like mines. …
… “NIMBY” used to be the anti-economic-growth refrain. Luddites shouted, “Not in my backyard!” Now, watching bureaucrats stop projects such as the Keystone oil pipeline and the Pebble Mine, it’s clear that the phrase has become “BANANA”: “Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!”
I wish activists would personally experience the economic devastation that occurs when they block every project that might have a slight impact on nature.