Bristol Bay in the News September 20, 2011

Last week Washington Senator Maria Cantwell sent EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a letter voicing her support for 404(c) protection of the Bristol Bay watershed – even preemptively, if a scientific assessment supports doing so.

Covered in front page stories, TV and radio features, Cantwell said she had been contacted by thousands of Washington state residents who expressed concern about "the potentially catastrophic and widespread long-term impacts" of the mine, which she described as "the world's largest man-made excavation."

In Alaska, both camps in the “Save Our Salmon” ballot initiative in the Lake&Pen Borough are spending to sway voters before the Oct. 4 election day. Pebble’s latest move seems to be flying in Wes Studi, a Hollywood actor of Cherokee background, to stump against the initiative.

Art Hackney, in the Anchorage Daily News, picks apart Paul Jenkins’ critique of Pebble opponents. Jenkins’ opinion piece was a new low in the debate. He called the broad, bipartisan and diverse opposition to Pebble “a cheesy fight to save the rich guys' fishing experiences,” and anyone else involved, “hapless stooges.”

Here’s a weekly roundup of media.

Washington senator says she will oppose Pebble if it would harm fish, asks EPA to block
Mary Pemberton, Associated Press
Bloomberg Businessweek, Washington Post, Huffington Post, CBS News, Canadian Business, Yahoo News, Washington Examiner, the Republic, Capital Press
Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell said Monday she would oppose a proposed huge copper and gold mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay if studies find it would harm salmon and thus put jobs in her own state at risk…Click here to read more

Senator Encourages EPA to Block Pebble Mine
Jackie Bartz
Congress is weighing in on the debate over the proposed gold and copper mine, known as Pebble Mine, in the Bristol Bay area. Monday, Washington state Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to prohibit Pebble Mine…Click here to read more

A Washington State Senator wants to Stop Pebble Mine (VIDEO)
Bill McAllister
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to shut down the project before the permit process gets under way…Click here to watch

Pebble Mine Battle Extends to Lower 48

Daysha Eaton, KDLG
Alaska Public Radio
The battle over the Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska is extending to the Lower 48. This week US Senator Maria Cantwell, from Washington State, sent a letter to the head of the EPA…Click here to listen

Spending ramps up as Pebble election nears
Sean Cockerham
Anchorage Daily News
In just two weeks, fewer than a thousand voters in the remote Lake and Peninsula Borough could decide the fate of the gigantic Pebble mine prospect and sidetrack one of the most controversial development projects in Alaska history…Click here to read more

Actor’s Disappointing Role: Pebble Shill
Shannyn Moore
Anchorage Daily News
As much time as we spend watching movies, it's easy to believe that actors take jobs because they identify with some part of a film. The wool was ripped from my eyes this week. I've watched actor Wes Studi in films for years -- "Geronimo," "Dances with Wolves" and "Avatar," to name a few. He's beautiful -- a classic, stoic American Indian; a noble face absent of fear and seemingly full of ancient knowledge…Click here to read more

Column on Pebble rife with inaccuracies
Art Hackney
Anchorage Daily News
Where to start with Paul Jenkins' Sunday screed against those who oppose Pebble Mine? Somewhere in the hallowed halls of the Fourth Estate, Mr. Jenkins lost his way. In his opening paragraph, Jenkins calls respected leaders of Bristol Bay's Native communities "stooges" and people of a region of Alaska with a history that goes back 10,000 years, "dupes."…Click here to read more

Pebble mine, with obvious risks, will sadly pass permit process
John Enders, Anchorage
Anchorage Daily News
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been quoted regarding her position on Pebble mine and section 404(c) of the Federal Clean Water Act, "Attempts to prejudge development in the Bristol Bay area before permit application has been submitted would make a mockery out of the federal environmental review process." …Click here to read more

Making a ripple in Alaska’s pond

Ana Santos, Moving Planets
The Squamish Chief
“What’s in a pebble?” Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals would say, “$300 billion,” the estimated value of the recoverable metals contained in the Pebble Mine, a copper, gold and molybdenum deposit in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. As the largest undeveloped copper ore body in the world, its gargantuan dimensions are matched only by the extent of the surrounding controversy and widespread aversion…Click here to read more