by Shoren Brown
Former Alaska First Lady Bella Hammond delivered an impassioned thank you to the EPA in an Anchorage Daily News op-ed for “listening to the overwhelming majority of Bristol Bay residents who requested protection of our watershed” in the face of a state government that “has ignored, minimized or swept under the rug years of water violations, fuel spills, wetlands abuse and drilling violations.”
Ms. Hammond writes further: “I am not amused by political double talk. How can Pebble tell us they have no plan when they have used a detailed plan since 2006 to hold priority for rights to all of the water in the mine area? They have paid for and filed with stock market regulators multiple detailed plans and they have told their shareholders they have 10.8 billion tons of mineable ore. Are they telling the truth to their shareholders, the regulators, or to us?”
Radio host and commentator Shannyn Moore authors an opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News about how Pebble could end up being another Red Devil mine, where toxic tailings are compromising fish and waters. Moore writes: “Our governor, in his spastic, whiplash messaging toward the federal government, is getting a bit embarrassing. On the one hand, he wants the Feds to get out of state business when it comes to projects he supports -- like the extremely controversial Pebble mine. On the other hand, he snaps his fingers and demands the federal government come clean up toxic tailings of mines long abandoned.”
Further afield, outdoor writer Glen David recounts a recent trip to Bristol Bay in the Clarion Ledger of Mississippi catching large rainbow trout and learning more about the Pebble proposal. He writes: “It is an incredible fishery but the biggest environmental apocalypse ever is being planned for the area which is the Pebble Mine, a gold/copper mine that will destroy 20 square miles of pristine wilderness and create a witches brew of tailings in a gigantic lake.”
Shoren Brown is the Save Bristol Bay campaign director for Trout Unlimited.