Monday, July 1, is the last day comments can be made on the plans for the Pebble Mine.
For over two decades, a large majority of Alaskans has opposed the Canadian gold and copper mine for the threat it poses to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run at Bristol Bay.
Former senator Ted Stevens was upfront with Alaskans from the start, saying “I’m not opposed to mining, but Pebble is the wrong mine in the wrong place.”
But such candor is no longer the case. Alaska’s representatives in Congress steadfastly refuse to share their personal positions on Pebble Mine, instead opting for “the process.”
Here’s Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin with Senator Lisa Murkowski last week.
“So what about weighing in on the mine?
Murkowski said she wants to read the draft environmental impact statement, the scientific analysis, the criticism of “the science that’s out there, and not out there,” and all the comments.
“And so that is the next step in this evaluation that, as an Alaskan, I think I should be taking.”
And after taking all that into consideration, she’ll weigh in?
“There will be that point where I think that is appropriate.”
Senator Dan Sullivan said Alaskans need to “have faith in our laws and the processes.” KMXT news director Maggie Wall in Kodiak pressed Sullivan further –
Ted Stevens said, “wrong mine, wrong place.” What is your personal opinion on the mine?
“Yea, I’m going to continue to advocate for people on both sides to weigh in and so the federal government can do its job under the law, which is what they need to do on any project,” Sullivan responded.
“You’re ignoring the science. And you brag about the science all the time. Let the science prove us right or wrong. That should be your responsibility. Not say you’re for or against the mine and give all these doomsday things there. They may happen. If that happens, it will not happen because we’ll not issue the permit.”
The US Army Corps of Engineers has received 774 pages of 77,387 comments so far, which can be done simply on their website.