Ex-EPA official goes off the grid, dodges lawmakers' inquiry into Alaska mine project
A former EPA official tied to a controversy over allegations of federal overreach at an Alaska mine project has mysteriously gone off the grid, sources tell FoxNews.com, complicating lawmakers' efforts to question him.The EPA, almost unique among federal agencies, is almost totally populated by true believers in environmental catastrophism. They know the answer they want to get, and they know the scientists that will find those answers for them; they should, they have them all on the payroll.
Emails from Phillip North, a now-retired Environmental Protection Agency employee, recently surfaced that seem to show the Alaska-based biologist tried to get the Pebble Mine project killed as far back as 2008. Those emails -- and memos indicating government officials worked early on with tribal leaders and environmental groups to oppose the venture -- raised questions about the agency's claims that when it ultimately vetoed the gold-and-copper mine project, it did so based on scientific evidence.
Emails from North’s account show that he “appeared to have played a key role in the EPA’s decision to pursue a veto,” Caitlin Carroll, a spokeswoman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told FoxNews.com.
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The IG’s office has been looking into internal EPA documents and emails – some of which have been obtained by FoxNews.com – that indicate agency officials were plotting to derail Pebble as far back as 2008.
Citing “irreversible harm” to Alaska’s salmon fishery, the EPA announced in late February it would veto the billion-dollar project and would do so by invoking its rarely used power under the Clean Water Act.
Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, had sent North a July 29, 2013 letter asking him to voluntarily come in for an interview. Multiple email exchanges between congressional staffers and North to set a date and time that would accommodate his schedule have been documented.The House of Representatives should treat the EPA (and the IRS) like enemy strongholds, to be starved into submission using the power of the purse.
North listed several complications at the time, one of which was a planned one-year boat ride around the world with his school-aged children. But then his boat broke.
“Due to a series of unfortunate events our plans have changed,” he wrote in an Oct. 22, 2013 email. “Our boat suffered damage and may not be fixable. The situation is still dynamic. We are considering our options as the facts emerge but at this time we have no plans to be on the East Coast before the holidays.”
And then he lawyered up.
As another alternative, they could institute my "modest proposal" for political affirmative action at Federal agencies involved in controversial decisions (and aren't they all?). Fire half, and form the agency from a pool chosen to fairly represent the parties. Hey, fairness is the highest virtue, isn't it?