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  • A gardener digs a shovel of soil in a garden.

    Let's bury a little gold in the garden

    J. P. Tangen|Updated Feb 1, 2024

    Each year, I enjoy traveling to Vancouver, B.C., to attend what used to be called the Cordilleran Roundup, sponsored by the Association for Mineral Exploration of British Columbia. It is always a worthwhile exercise if, for no other reason than on the Wednesday night during the convention, the Alaska Miners Association sponsors "Alaska Night," which is a foodfest without peer (and with lots of beer) for all registered comers. Generally, Alaska Night is an opportunity to rub... Full story

  • People gathered around a table covered with a mat that says, “THINK GREEN!”

    Environmentalists spawn shades of green

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Jan 17, 2024

    For those who pay attention to such things, it appears that a new invasive species of environmentalism has crept onto the scene. I count it as an inevitable evolution of the movement, inasmuch as the deep thinkers on the subject apparently have identified schisms in their religious beliefs. For the past several decades, it was sufficient to be a banana Greenie – those who are basically against anything, anytime, anywhere. They were quite predictable, especially when it comes t... Full story

  • A photo with various buzzwords used in today's energy transition.

    Suppose we held a party and nobody came?

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Dec 14, 2023

    I suspect that almost everyone is familiar with the "word clouds" that are sometimes used by the media to identify issues ostensibly important to the American public. Pick a subject, and the associated reference appears in the word cloud in a size and typeface that reflects that subject's relative importance. Of course, the rule of "garbage in – garbage out" dominates, so I suppose word clouds are just another fancy way to say nothing. On the other hand, I was recently i... Full story

  • Foreboding black and white view of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

    The silence of Washington is deafening

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Oct 5, 2023

    Generally, when there is a turn of the screw in DC, the pundits bombard the media with insight and analysis, often drawn on their experience with analogous events. Tuesday's vote to unseat the Speaker of the House somehow seems a little different since there is little precedent and even less Constitutional guidance as to what our leaders are to do next. Contextually, we are in a bit of a dilemma. President Biden embraced an aggressive liberal agenda that contemplates the... Full story

  • EPA announces new WOTUS amendment

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Aug 31, 2023

    On August 28, the EPA announced a revision to the jurisdictional regulations concerning waters of the United States to conform to the holding in Sackett v. EPA, 598 U.S., decided May 25, 2023. "[A]s a result of the decision in Sackett invalidating the significant nexus standard, the provision for assessment of streams and wetlands ... is no longer valid ... ." The Sackett decision potentially impacts the determination of the EPA to permanently block the development of any... Full story

  • Piles of paperwork collect dust in a dimly lit, rustic storage room.

    Just because you are a little paranoid ...

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Aug 3, 2023

    They say that just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. That certainly is the case with regard to America's Administrative State. Some of us have lived and breathed the National Environmental Policy Act, "NEPA," for over 50 years and have watched the piles of worthless Environmental Impact Statements stack up in dusty corners, like cordwood beside a rustic cabin, fit more for the heat they may generate than any light they may produce. The Council...

  • Let's all Celebrate the 4th of July

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Jul 27, 2023

    With all due apologies to our Canadian friends (who celebrate their independence on Saturday), next Tuesday is our big day! Cynicism aside, it is time to recognize just how great America is in general and Alaska is in particular. Gender issues, abortion issues, gun issues, immigration issues, issues with big government, issues with state and local governments, issues with criminal trespassers on the capitol grounds, issues with the criminal prosecutions of a former President... Full story

  • Bureau of Land Management signpost outside Anchorage District Office.

    The nuts are in charge of the nut house

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Jun 1, 2023

    Mark your calendar. June 30, 2023, will be just one more Day in Infamy when catastrophic changes at the hands of the Bureau of Land Management will reach their nadir. (These days, it seems, everything that the government wants to do is "catastrophic!") On April 3, the BLM promulgated its Conservation and Landscape Health Proposed Rule. In its own words, the rule would "advance the BLM's mission to manage the public lands for multiple use and sustained yield by prioritizing... Full story

  • Map showing the many critical mineral occurrences across Alaska.

    I feel the earth moving under my feet

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated May 4, 2023

    Let's talk about electric car batteries, their mineral content, the source of the minerals, and where those minerals are refined. Generally speaking, according to a recent piece in the Washington Post, electric car batteries weigh about 900 pounds – 900 pounds of minerals that have to be mined, refined, combined and shaped, fitted and installed into cars – cars that are being pushed onto the American public because they don't require polluting gasoline. We are told that electr... Full story

  • Map of Alaska resources project locked up by federal regulations and actions.

    President Biden Gives Janus a bad name

    J. P. Tangen|Updated Apr 6, 2023

    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) of 1980, as every Alaska school child should know, was a great compromise, engineered by Senator Ted Stevens and supported even by then-Senator Joe Biden. In a 1980 speech on the Senate floor, Senator Biden said, "This legislation will protect some of the most beautiful and pristine lands in the world. It will provide for the wise use of our natural resources. And it will ensure that Alaska's economy will continue... Full story

  • Capitol dome in Washington DC with crack down middle over the American flag.

    America's regulatory system is broken

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Mar 11, 2023

    As America gravitates toward an increasingly strong central government, the disparity of the regulatory system is becoming increasingly blatant. This is not the view of a few, it is the concern of the many. Too often the problem is politicized. The left wants more government, the right wants less. But this problem is not a political football. It is a national problem with an available solution. Beginning in the earliest days of the nation, there was tension with regard to how... Full story

  • Hard times call for a modest proposal

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Feb 2, 2023

    If you have paid any attention to the news lately, you are aware that the National Debt exceeds $30 trillion dollars and our Gross Domestic Product is a little over $26 trillion, so we are literally borrowing ourselves rich. The National Debt Ceiling is $31.4 trillion, so Congress is confronted with the grim choice of raising the debt limit or not being able to pay our national bills. Naturally, there is a lot of controversy over how Congress should proceed. Remarkably, some... Full story

  • Fireworks over the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol Building.

    We can all look forward to a bright 2023

    J. P. Tangen|Updated Jan 18, 2023

    At long last the new year is here! Behind us are the floods, blizzards, pandemics, elections, and the vast array of distractions that have clouded our skies. It is time to get down to business. First, the good news – we won't have another election for about 22 months. In addition, the Congress of the United States is in a state of equipoise. The House has a Republican majority, and the House controls the national purse strings; so federal spending hopefully will be under c... Full story

  • Mining haul truck decked out for the holidays.

    Life is full of little disappointments

    J. P. Tangen|Updated Dec 1, 2022

    It is always wise to count our blessings, especially halfway between election day and Christmas. I juxtapose those dates because the seasonal background noise is seamless. Election day blends into Thanksgiving, which blends into Black Friday, which blends into Merry Christmas. Ho! Ho! Ho! It crosses my mind, however, that the issues that fall off the table, such as ambient carbon dioxide and supporting Ukraine's sovereignty, simply get lost in the plum sauce. The popular... Full story

  • Graphic of a fork in the road with signs pointing left, center, and right.

    It's a very topsy-turvy world out there

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Oct 6, 2022

    Politically, the United States has been on a long slow drift to the left ever since Franklin Roosevelt threatened to expand the Supreme Court in 1937 in order to get his progressive agenda back on track. Through a cascade of political divisions, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the abandonment of Kabul, the left-right divisions of the electorate have divided the country; but the ship of state has consistently incrementally edged forward, veering slightly to port.... Full story

  • A helicopter at a drill rig on Northern Dynasty’s Pebble project in Alaska.

    There is something wrong, very wrong

    J.P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Jun 30, 2022

    Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency, citing section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, announced its intention to prohibit the use of the Bristol Bay watershed for discharging dredged or fill material from the Pebble Project. Both of our Senators issued statements giving qualified support for the proposed decision. Senator Murkowski, however, took the position that she has "never supported a blanket, preemptive approach for any project" recognizing "that this could be...

  • A Sen. Lisa Murkowski bracelet.

    Sen. Murkowski puts shoulder to the wheel

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Jun 30, 2022

    Those of us who watch such things are well aware that Senator Murkowski has been the strong vocal lead in the Senate when it comes to sounding the alarm that the country is at substantial risk due to our reliance on foreign countries for the critical minerals that we need, not just for our 21st Century lifestyle, but also for our national defense. Over the past decade, Sen. Murkowski has consistently done yeoman service when it came to getting legislation concerning the... Full story

  • A stylized adobestock picture of the word greenwashing on paper in a typewriter.

    Alaskans are being greenwashed - again

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated May 12, 2022

    When I first heard the term "greenwashed," I naturally assumed that it referred to the endless stream of misrepresentations that the American Environmental Industry dumps on a gullible public as part of its fundraising technique. When I looked into it, however, I discovered that it was a pejorative intended by professional Environmentalists to attack other industrial sectors who represented that their various products were somehow more environmentally friendly than their compe... Full story

  • Alaska Miners Association Fairbanks fete Mining Day General Law 1872 opinion

    AMA plans Mining Day fete in Fairbanks

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated May 5, 2022

    On April 12, 2013, Governor Sean Parnell signed into law Senate Bill 1, "An Act establishing May 10 of each year as Alaska Mining Day; and providing for an effective date" (Chapter 6, SLA 2013), sponsored by State Senator Cathy Giessel and thirteen other senators as well as nineteen members of the State House of Representatives, commemorating the enactment of the General Mining Law of 1872. This year, on the 150th anniversary of the General Mining Law, the Alaska Miners...

  • President Biden administration jackleg Russia China opinion Alaska mining law

    Biden demonstrates mining ignorance

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Mar 10, 2022

    This past week the Biden Administration released a document ineptly entitled "Fundamental Principles for Domestic Mining Reform." It would have been more accurately called "Eleven Ways to End Mining in America." It is not difficult to understand why an East Coast boy from Delaware (or maybe Scranton) would have no affinity with the American mining industry. Among other things, Mr. Biden probably could not identify three distinctions between a jackleg and a jackass, other than... Full story

  • Alaska opinion North of 60 Mining News politics ANCSA WOTUS Sackett EPA

    Imagine a jigsaw puzzle without edges

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Mar 4, 2022

    In today's topsy-turvy world, perhaps the question we all should be asking is, in the unforgettable opening words of Admiral James Stockdale during the 1992 Vice Presidential debate, "Who am I, why am I here?". Admiral Stockdale was the person chosen to be Independent Ross Perot's Presidential running mate. His challengers were then-President George Bush and then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Perot garnered about 19.7 million votes, many of which might have gone to... Full story

  • Tesla New York Times Elon Musk Gray Lady Battery Day 2020 exports Alaska

    Gray Lady serves Tesla a sucker punch

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Feb 3, 2022

    In 1951, Life Magazine (remember "Life"?) dubbed the New York Times the "Old Gray Lady" "by way of acknowledging its special marks: starch conservatism and circumspection." How things have changed! The punster in me, however, simply says "that's life." While Life no longer lingers on, the Old Gray Lady has taken on a life of its own. No longer burdened by conservatism and circumspection, the Times perpetually searches out new and different ways to attack the innovative. Most r... Full story

  • Alaska mining Joe Biden administration energy Tongass National Forest opinion

    Miners must thread the eye of a needle

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Dec 16, 2021

    If global warming and the associated risk of climate change is due, at least in part, to anthropomorphic causes, it stands to reason that there are too many anthropoids (specifically, humanoids) hanging around. We have always known, I think, that overpopulation is a grave problem to life on earth, primarily because humans, like cockroaches, are omnivorous, ubiquitous, and prolific. It has been said that you could accommodate the entire population of earth in the Grand Canyon.... Full story

  • North 60 Mining News opinion COVID mining Alaska president bipartisan AMA 2021

    Our mining industry confronts threats

    J. P. Tangen, Special to Mining News|Updated Oct 28, 2021

    If there is one thing that most Americans can probably agree on, I think, it is that Joe Biden is the worst President we have had since Donald Trump. Since they both had a lot of things on their respective plates to deal with, such as COVID, immigration, and foreign affairs, it is appropriate to look at where we are and how we got here. With regard to COVID, despite a massive federal effort by the incumbent to bridge over the failures of his predecessor, we are still in the... Full story

  • Do we want a constitutional convention?

    J. P. Tangen|Updated Oct 28, 2021

    Decennially, the question of whether Alaska shall have a constitutional convention must appear on the ballot. Alaskans have voted on this issue five times since 1972 and defeated it soundly each time. The question will be on the ballot again in 2022, so it is timely for the voters (and potential voters) to give the matter some thought. As with most matters political, the best place to begin any discussion is to comprehend the context in which the question arises. An... Full story

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