The House of Representatives took dramatic and much-needed action Wednesday, and voted 233-201 in support of a measure that, if passed by both chambers of Congress, would prohibit continued investment by the Army Corps of Engineers in processing the permit application for the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska.
TU members and supporters were essential to this outcome.
Thank you for speaking up to tell decision makers at all levels that Pebble mine is not worth the risk in Bristol Bay. Today’s vote shows that when enough of us do so, we will be heard.
The measure was adopted as part of approving a spending plan for numerous federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While TU does not typically endorse policy proposals on spending bills, we were strong advocates for this measure in light of the deficiencies in the ongoing permit review process and the unprecedented threat to Bristol Bay and its priceless fisheries posed by the proposed mine.
The Pebble Mine would be constructed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay in Alaska, home to largest commercial sockeye salmon-producing region in the world; one of the last, best wild salmon fisheries on earth. If permitted, Pebble would be one of the largest mines in the world, impacting thousands of acres of wetlands and stream, including the headwaters of two of Alaska’s most valuable rivers, the Kvichak and Nushagak. The mine would permanently alter the wild character of the Bristol Bay region, and open millions of acres of nearby mining claims for development.
The process to review the full impact of Pebble’s proposal has been rushed, is wholly insufficient, and additional impacts are being downplayed.
Our policy, science and legal experts have documented substantial shortcomings with the Corps of Engineers’ review of the Pebble Partnership’s plan. Noting these failures, Congress introduced an appropriations amendment that would ensure no additional funds are spent advancing Pebble’s permit application.
What comes next:
In order to take effect, this measure will need to be approved by the Senate — either during their review of the same spending bill later this month, or during conference negotiations with the House to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills — and signed by the President. We will keep you informed as these processes continue.
Comment on DEIS closes July 1
Reminder: Comment on Phase One of the permit review is open until July 1. Thousands of you have already taken action, writing to share your concerns. Thank you. If you haven’t yet done so, you can comment at https://standup.tu.org/save-bristol-bay/
THANK YOU, ADVOCATES!
For more than a decade, TU members across Alaska and nationwide have stepped up, time and again, to advance safeguards for Bristol Bay. Your commitment and enthusiasm for this wild place—home to prolific runs of wild salmon and massive wild trout—inspires us every day.
On behalf of our team in Alaska and Bristol Bay-lovers everywhere, thank you—again—for your help.
Please take a moment to thank your Representative for voting in support of the amendment. To how your Representative voted, see the roll call reported here.
Letters supporting the Amendment
- Nelli Williams, Alaska Director (Nelli.Williams@tu.org)
- Steve Moyer, VP for Government Affairs (Steve.Moyer@tu.org)
- Kate Miller, Director of Government Affairs (Kate.Miller@tu.org)