Biden Administration Blocks Alaska Mine that Could Produce Minerals Needed for Renewable Energy

Biden Administration Blocks Alaska Mine that Could Produce Minerals Needed for Renewable Energy

May 25, 2022

The Pebble Deposit in Southwest Alaska contains world-class amounts of copper, molybdenum, rhenium, and gold. It represents a great opportunity to mine America’s abundant resources – including metals required for renewable energy and electric vehicles. But today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was proposing restrictions that would almost certainly end development for the mine.

In March, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to strengthen domestic supplies of critical minerals. Supply chains for many of these minerals are dominated by China. As the Biden administration wages its war on American fossil fuel energy, it has made us more dependent on China for batteries and the minerals required to make them. But now his administration is blocking access to an American mine that could provide some of those resources.  

“The EPA’s announcement this morning is a blatantly political move that completely ignores both science and public process,” noted Rick Whitbeck, Power The Future’s Alaska State Director. “The EPA laughably stated that science is behind the decision, but it’s clear the only science they follow is political science. The EPA was intimately involved with the review process and the Army Corps of Engineers’ determination that the mine would not harm the salmon fishery,” Whitbeck continued. 

“The only ‘determination’ that the EPA has made is to agree to interject itself and further politicize a process that hasn’t yet played out. Alaskans should be outraged, as Pebble – based on science – will have little to no impact on the Bristol Bay fishery, but will provide hundreds of jobs, along with millions of tons of domestic supplies of minerals needed for renewable energy products. The EPA’s decision today takes away the hopes of Indigenous Alaskans, who trust Pebble to deliver on its promises. The decision today is abhorrent, and every Alaskan should demand the EPA stop short of finalizing its proposed actions.”