Update On The Pebble Project – 2,900 Jobs At Stake

Update On The Pebble Project – 2,900 Jobs At Stake

April 8, 2019

With one of the largest untapped copper and gold deposits in the world sitting below its surface, Alaska’s Pebble deposit has been studied, sampled and evaluated by scientists, investors, tribal entities and governments at local, state and federal levels since 1988.

Almost as quickly as those deposits were discovered, environmental groups started fighting the project, using an argument that there was a risk to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery if the mine was built.

Pebble’s ownership has seen a number of comings and goings since 1988.  Its current owner, Northern Dynasty Minerals, has been involved with the project since 2001, and investors since 2005. It owns 100% of the project currently, and to date, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to move the project forward.  According to a study by IHS Global Insight, Pebble could be one of Alaska’s largest private sector employers, creating an estimated 2,900 Alaska jobs. With the Bristol Bay area currently facing unemployment of 15.7%, jobs with the Pebble Project would be economically advantageous to the region.

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in February, 2019, environmentalists were outraged by the language in the report, which found that the mine could be safely built and would pose minimal threat to the Bristol Bay fishery.

Anti-Pebble groups – including Cook Inletkeeper, Trustees for Alaska, The Alaska Center (for the Environment) and their overarching organization, the Save Bristol Bay Coalition – quickly turned their collective vitriol to the Corps of Engineers, stating “The DEIS for Pebble’s initial proposal uses outdated and insufficient science, ignores important cultural and economic values, and falls substantially short of the robust analysis that the fishery, jobs, cultures and wild character of Bristol Bay call for. The Corps grossly underestimates the true impacts and fails to paint an accurate portrayal of the proposal.”

The DEIS’s 90-day public comment period is nearly half-over (it runs through May 30, 2019), and Power The Future will be weighing in. Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck’s testimony will focus on exposing the eco-extremist position that there is a binary choice between fish and the mine and will highlight the opportunity for Pebble’s potential jobs to benefit an economically-depressed area of Alaska.

If you agree, please take a moment to either file online comments here, or email comments to drafteis@comments.pebbleprojecteis.com. The potential workers in Bristol Bay and beyond thank you for standing up for those potential jobs.