Pebble Mine adds more international lobbying muscle

Dylan Brown, E&E News reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mining company Pebble LP has hired K Street giant Squire Patton Boggs to help win approval for a controversial copper and gold project in southwestern Alaska.

A trio of new lobbyists started working Feb. 6 to persuade the Trump administration on “consideration and approvals related to the proposed Pebble Mine,” according to a lobbying registration released today.

Squire Patton Boggs joins several other lobbying firms already on Pebble’s payroll, most recently Gavel Resources LLC, the firm led by former House Natural Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.).

Overall, records show the company spent $790,000 on lobbying in 2017, including one of last year’s single largest contracts, $750,000 for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, 2017’s top national lobbying firm (Greenwire, Jan. 26).

Squire Patton Boggs’ addition comes after U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt unexpectedly restored the Obama administration’s proposed restrictions on mining surrounding the Pebble site to protect the headwaters of salmon-rich Bristol Bay (Greenwire, Jan. 30).

The team includes Peter Gould, who has expertise in mining and served as an EPA law clerk.

He is joined by Ed Newberry, a former staffer for the House Appropriations Committee and former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), and Lem Smith, who has served as a staffer in the offices of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) and now-Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

Reporter Kevin Bogardus contributed.