05.25.2012 1

Obama’s unreal world

As originally published at TheHill.com.

By Rick Manning — Chairman Doc Hastings’s House Resources Committee released secret audio in which an Obama administration Interior Department official stunningly states, in connection to their rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Rule, “this is not the real world, this is rulemaking” as a justification for not considering actual “conditions on the ground.”

“This is not the real world, this is rulemaking” should be the new slogan of Obama’s Committee to Reelect the President.

The ivory-tower approach that has led this administration to engage in an all-out war on mining has born the fruit of Obama losing 40 percent of the Democratic vote to a guy in prison in West Virginia, 42 percent of the Democratic vote in Kentucky to a blank spot on the ballot, and 40 percent to a guy who scraped together the cash to pay the $3,300 filing fee in Arkansas.

Take heart, Obama lovers, the myopic, destroy-the-resource-industry green approach that caused an EPA official in Texas to resign after his almost three-year-old “crucify” enforcement policy came to light is still alive and well.

The EPA just released a predetermination on the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska that far exceeds its authority and is designed to prejudice other regulators who actually are responsible for determining the viability of the project.

Even the EPA’s report admits that it did not provide an in-depth assessment of any mining project, yet it continues on to engage in a scare campaign about the Bristol Bay watershed that looks like an Environmental Defense Fund legal brief. No facts, just rhetoric and fear.

While the “assessment” might affect the proposed Pebble Mine Project, which coincidentally is on state land that is designated for mining and has the support of the state, the real danger is the EPA effectively destroys and usurps the entire NEPA process for getting projects approved. The EPA was so anxious to weigh in before the radicals in charge are turned out in January that they did not even wait for a mining plan to be presented, or evaluate the $130 million worth of environmental assessments done by the company to ensure that any mining plan met all legitimate environmental concerns.

The real danger in the EPA assessment is that it sets the dangerous precedent that the agency can effectively submarine any and all resource development in the country based upon political pressure without regard to the science, logic or needs of our nation.

In a world where Obama talks jobs, while his administration’s regulatory regime actively seeks to destroy them, it is reasonable to expect that one of his minions would declare that reality is completely disconnected from rulemaking.

Because in Obama’s world, it seems that the only thing that matters is the destruction of America’s private-sector natural resources production — consequences be damned. After all, consequences are real, and Obama’s regulators just don’t need to be bothered with them.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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