While Anti-Pebble Forces Imply “Checkmate!”, Pebble Still Has Plenty of Options on the Board

While Anti-Pebble Forces Imply “Checkmate!”, Pebble Still Has Plenty of Options on the Board

June 9, 2021

A good chess player understands that the game is never over until the King is laid down.  What might seem like a tough situation one minute could pivot on a single misplayed piece.

With the announcement that Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has now played right into the anti-Pebble movement’s hands – as she announced last week in Dillingham she was pushing for permanent protections for Bristol Bay from mining in the region – it could appear to some newcomers to the decades-long “Pebble Wars” that the eco-extremists are closer to winning.

Add to that the recent news that the village of Pedro Bay – a community seen as crucial to Pebble’s transportation corridor – had sold surface rights for much of their land allotments to a conservation foundation, whose stated mission was to stop Pebble, and another key piece in Pebble’s winning strategy appears to be in peril.

But, in the words of football color analyst Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”

As much as the eco-Left wants to see Pebble go away forever, there are dozens of reasons why it should be built. Let’s review just a couple of them:

  1. The science – in the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) – says clearly and repeatedly that Pebble won’t harm the Bristol Bay fishery with its current mine plans.  This completely contradicts the “Save Bristol Bay” feelings-over-facts talking points.  The science (facts) should eventually trump the narrative of fear.
  2. If the “go green” movement is going to happen, it will require copper.  Lots and lots of it.  Pebble is the second largest copper deposit in the world.  Why import it when you can mine it within the US?
  3. The jobs (nearly 1,000 full-time, six-figure ones) driven by Pebble would boost a region of Alaska with incredible unemployment currently, and one without a resource-based economy anywhere close to it (don’t forget that Bristol Bay sits nearly 250 river miles from the Pebble deposit, and over 100 miles away as the crow flies).  Shouldn’t the residents of Iliamna, Newhalen and other inland villages have an opportunity for economic prosperity?

While Pebble may have been dealt a few damaging moves in the battle for its future this past week, they have plenty of pieces left to play, each with many options.  For starters, the State of Alaska has corridors from Pebble’s deposit to tidewater locations necessary for eventual export of the mined materials.  The State also owns the lands Pebble is developing, and has shown no interest in helping the eco-extremists. 

As long as there are potential jobs, revenues and opportunities to soundly develop Pebble, Power The Future will continue to promote it.  We look forward to seeing the final moves in this game play out, and watch the anti-Pebble forces lay their King down, hang their head in defeat, and watch as Pebble safely and responsibly brings gold, copper and other products to market.