Eco-Extremists are Weaponizing the Endangered Species Act in Alaska –Part 2

Eco-Extremists are Weaponizing the Endangered Species Act in Alaska –Part 2

February 12, 2020

Jobs in energy and responsible resource development are once again under attack in Alaska, as radical environmentalists have pulled out one of their ‘tried and true’ gimmicks in recent actions against the federal government: the Endangered Species Act.  Two have caught our eye.  Yesterday, we focused on actions in Cook Inlet.  Today, we’ll cover the suit focused on southwest Alaska.

For nearly two decades, environmental extremism has run amok when it comes to disrupting the permitting process for the proposed Pebble Mine outside of Iliamna, Alaska.  Radicalized organizations – and their minions from the lower 48 that support and exhort their misguided, anti-development efforts – have spent hundreds of millions of dollars and as many or more man-hours fighting against the project and others in Alaska.

Now the Center for Biological Diversity – the same group trying to stymie oil and gas development in Cook Inlet by threatening a lawsuit over (supposedly) decreased Beluga whale numbers – is taking aim at Pebble by requesting an ESA listing to protect freshwater Harbor seals in Iliamna Lake.  This is the second time they’ve petitioned for the listing, as it failed in 2012, under the Obama administration.

What the Center fails to mention in its petition is that freshwater seals aren’t unique to Iliamna Lake.  Ask any fisherman who frequents the upper and middle sections of the Kenai River; dozens of seals affect fishermen during salmon and trout runs.

The petition claims that climate change, along with Pebble, would decimate the mammals.

But what about the thousand or so workers who could help develop Pebble’s copper, gold and other rare earth materials?  The same minerals needed to increase green energy production?  The same mine that will bring millions of dollars a year to state and local coffers?  The same project that would decrease unemployment that runs – outside of the fishing season – nearly 12% in the Borough, and much higher in the inland villages?

Power The Future is bullish on the impact that Pebble will bring to the region, the state and the nation.  Groups like Center for Biological Diversity think that filing lawsuits against the government and development projects to protect wildlife is more important than the empowerment, confidence and self-worth that good-paying, responsible resource jobs bring to the employees of those projects.  We couldn’t disagree more with their beliefs, and will continue to point out their radicalized agenda at every turn.