Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

EPA Report: Proposed Pebble Mine Would Destroy Fishery

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Conservationist
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

January 22, 2014

EPA Report: Proposed Pebble Mine Would Destroy Fishery

By Bob Marshall

It’s hard to overstate the victory sportsmen and other environmentalists had over the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay last week, when the Environmental Protection Agency released its assessment on the impact that proposed operation would have on the treasured ecosystem. This headline from The Washington Post gives a succinct summary of that assessment: EPA: Mining would destroy fishery, villages, part of watershed in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

Of course that’s what sportsmen, hunting and fishing lodge owners, environmental groups, commercial fishermen, and Native American organizations have been saying in the long struggle to keep this tragedy from happening. One of Earth’s most productive and still pristine ecosystems would be placed in mortal danger if this project ever went forward.

It hasn’t been an easy fight. Like most environmental issues today, some have tried to turn this into a political litmus test for elected officials, especially in Congress. Republicans there typically support the mine, while Democrats oppose it.

But as with most of these fights, the coalition of ordinary citizens pushing to protect fish and wildlife habitat could not be so easily stereotyped. They don’t see red or blue ideology when their traditions are threatened, they see the practical, long-term outcome of the decision. In this case, allowing this mine to go forward would clearly have terrible long-term consequences for fish, wildlife, and the state.

Today they can rejoice that a scientific study supported their contentions.

Northern Dynasty Mining, the company that wants to dig, said the EPA report is flawed, and contends the report was bad news for the economy because it estimates the cooper and gold resting there could amount to $500 billion.

But that argument is easily countered. That one-time gain of $500 billion could ruin the engine that drives a perpetually renewable resource.

As resounding a win this report is for sportsmen, the fight is not over yet.

The idea of the Pebble Mine--and the threat to this irreplaceable resource--remains alive unless the EPA issues regulations killing it. But as the Washington Post reported:

Dennis McLerran, administrator for the regional EPA office that oversees the watershed, said the agency is unwilling to take that step. “We have not yet made any decisions with respect to regulatory actions,” he said in a conference call with reporters.

Sportsmen should be asking Mr. McLerran this: If your agency says the mine would destroy a fishery, villages, and part of watershed, what are you waiting for?

They should send the same question to their elected officials.

If logic prevails, this report should be a kill shot for the Pebble Mine.

Comments (3)

Top Rated
All Comments
from RockySquirrel wrote 12 weeks 4 days ago

The beauty of this is that copper and gold ain’t going anywhere and will just increase in value while it is in the ground. When the technology gets better and it is easier to protect the environment, then this can be looked at again. It is money in the bank. Why do they want it now? Greed. Leave it alone until we really need it.

It always stuck me the massive illogic of the Arctic refuge oil reserve that was already owned by the taxpayer and in the ground and Government was buying oil (or trading for oil) and putting into the strategic petroleum reserve back in the ground elsewhere. The Arctic oil wasn’t going anywhere, it only got more valuable as time went on. All the POTUS had to do is declare the Arctic reserve the new strategic petroleum reserve and stop buy and storing it in those old salt mines. So why not do that? That Arctic oil was headed to China thats why. It isn’t getting anywhere near your fuel pump. "Drill baby drill" my backside.

What a mess we have become.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 12 weeks 4 days ago

Rocky, you're forgetting that at the present time there is a 48" pipeline within 65 miles of ANWR. That pipeline isn't going to be there forever. Rebuilding that pipeline would be a multi-billion dollar effort. Use the pipeline or lose it. You should drive up and take a look at the operation. I drove up to observe what was going on and I believe that the criticism of the pipeline is way overblown. The oil companies have done a good job of not devastating that habitat.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dougfir wrote 12 weeks 3 days ago

Trading the largest salmon runs in the world and all that depend on them, for some shiny metal that will mainly line the pockets of a few, foreign executives has got to be one of the worst ideas in history. I hope this is the final straw. This idea needs to be killed once and for all. Thanks for keeping it in the spotlight!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from RockySquirrel wrote 12 weeks 4 days ago

The beauty of this is that copper and gold ain’t going anywhere and will just increase in value while it is in the ground. When the technology gets better and it is easier to protect the environment, then this can be looked at again. It is money in the bank. Why do they want it now? Greed. Leave it alone until we really need it.

It always stuck me the massive illogic of the Arctic refuge oil reserve that was already owned by the taxpayer and in the ground and Government was buying oil (or trading for oil) and putting into the strategic petroleum reserve back in the ground elsewhere. The Arctic oil wasn’t going anywhere, it only got more valuable as time went on. All the POTUS had to do is declare the Arctic reserve the new strategic petroleum reserve and stop buy and storing it in those old salt mines. So why not do that? That Arctic oil was headed to China thats why. It isn’t getting anywhere near your fuel pump. "Drill baby drill" my backside.

What a mess we have become.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dougfir wrote 12 weeks 3 days ago

Trading the largest salmon runs in the world and all that depend on them, for some shiny metal that will mainly line the pockets of a few, foreign executives has got to be one of the worst ideas in history. I hope this is the final straw. This idea needs to be killed once and for all. Thanks for keeping it in the spotlight!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 12 weeks 4 days ago

Rocky, you're forgetting that at the present time there is a 48" pipeline within 65 miles of ANWR. That pipeline isn't going to be there forever. Rebuilding that pipeline would be a multi-billion dollar effort. Use the pipeline or lose it. You should drive up and take a look at the operation. I drove up to observe what was going on and I believe that the criticism of the pipeline is way overblown. The oil companies have done a good job of not devastating that habitat.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment