Politics and Land Use Permitting is the latest course which Christopher Hopkins, senior vice president for mining and aggregates at Saint Consulting, is teaching this fall at the University of Arizona.
The course is being conducted October 11-12 at the university’s Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, where Chris has been an adjunct professor since 2011. The course addresses the increased difficulty in permitting land use developments. It will examine the role that politics plays in controversial proposals, and the difficult nature of mining applications. “We will identify the different forms of politics at play in the ongoing NIMBY phenomenon, the typical participants, and the different political agendas at work in this process,” said Chris.
Politics is playing an increasingly larger role in land use permitting. Whether it is on the local, state or federal level, the evolution of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) activism is causing the science and engineering of mine development to take a back seat to politics. Politicians on all levels want to be liked and re-elected. When faced with a vocal constituency opposed to an application, the elected official is hard pressed to go against
the voters who elect them — regardless of the benefits and qualities of the proposed development.
The course will ultimately address methods to overcome this opposition, with a specific focus on mining and energy development projects.
Chris has been a frequent guest lecturer at graduate programs in mining at several other prestigious universities as well, including the University of Utah, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the University of Illinois. His articles are routinely published in industry trade journals.
Chris joined Saint Consulting in 2000 after managing and participating in more than 20 political campaigns over a 12-year period. Since joining the firm, he has organized and run more than 50 land use permitting campaigns.
Chris was promoted to vice president in 2003 to oversee regional offices in Tennessee, Florida and Missouri, and in 2007 was named senior vice president for aggregates and mining.
He is a member of the board of the American Coal Council, the Communications Committee of the National Sand, Stone and Gravel Association and served as a judge for the association’s 2008 annual awards for Environmental Excellence and Community Relations. Chris is also an active member of the Quarry Product Association in the United Kingdom and the Ontario Sand, Stone and Gravel Association.
Chris did his undergraduate studies and received his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Massachusetts. He has completed additional programs at Harvard, MIT and the Harvard Business School.
Chris resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. To read previous Saint Report posts by Chris, click here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org