WASHINGTON, D.C: A U.S. House Committee chairman has announced a hearing to examine whether the EPA unfairly blocked the Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska with a so-called “pre-emptive veto,” before the mine has even applied for permits.
The Science, Space and Technology Committee, chaired by Republican Lamar Smith of Texas, has invited William Cohen as a witness. Cohen, a former Defense secretary hired by Pebble, says the EPA’s actions suggest the agency may have rigged the process to reach the position it wanted to take, against the mine.
Smith has also asked that EPA make Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran available for an interview on the matter.
Pebble’s opponents say the EPA has followed a rigorous process and used valid science to conclude the mine would endanger the headwaters of Bristol Bay and its rich salmon runs.
The congressional hearing is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Rep. Lamar Smith's letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy can be read here.