By Hal Herring
There is nothing like a good anti-federal-government advertising campaign to rally support for, well, almost anything. In this time of Internal Revenue Service scandals and accusations that the Environmental Protection Agency has charged so-called “conservative” groups for Freedom of Information Act requests that they handed over to environmental groups for free, the time was ripe for a smart advertising professional to tap in to the zeitgeist and try, yet again, to sell a highly skeptical American public on the Pebble Project—a huge gold and copper mine proposed by two foreign mining corporations to be built on public lands in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.
On June 4, Northern Dynasty Minerals, Limited, a Vancouver, Canada-based corporation that owns 50 percent of the Pebble Project, ran an ad in the Washington Post and on various political websites that demands an end to what it calls EPA’s “black box bias” against the mine. The ad also claims that the EPA is manipulating public opinion and denying science in response to the results of the EPA’s 14 month-long comprehensive Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA). The EPA's assessment shows that the Pebble Project does indeed threaten the greatest salmon fishery on earth (a $500 million industry annually) and the estimated 14,000 jobs that depend upon it, and will industrialize one of America’s wildest and most pristine expanses of public land, which would forever changing the culture and economy of the 7,500 people, mostly Native Americans, who now call it home.