Leaders of a new coalition opposed to a massive copper, gold and molybdenum mine in Southwest Alaska said today they would demand action from the Obama Administration to stop development of the Pebble mine.
Bristol Bay United issued a statement saying it will harness the grassroots opposition to the Pebble mine to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that Pebble is the wrong mine in the wrong place.
“The science clearly shows that the Pebble mine would be a disaster for Bristol Bay’s salmon population, the $1.5 billion fishing industry, and the 14,000 jobs it supports,” said Bob Waldrop, executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. “Our leaders in Washington need to listen to the concerns of Alaskan fishermen and eliminate the risks from the Pebble mine now to ensure the continued economic health of the region.
Other key spokespersons for the coalition include Jason Metrokin, chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Native Corp., and Tim Bristol, Alaska state director for Trout Unlimited.
The Pebble mine project is controversial because of its location at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s draft assessment of the impact of the mine found that even without a major disaster or catastrophe, development of the mine would destroy up to 90 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,800 acres of wetland salmon habitat critical to the diversity of the fishery. Proponents of the mine argue that the project can be developed in a way that it would not have adverse affects on the fishery.