Earlier this month, the EPA and the Pebble Limited Partnership announced that the court case between the two entities will be settled, and that the PLP will be able to move through the permitting process and potentially develop the world’s largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.
This oft-maligned (and rightly so) mining proposal would put in peril the world’s most important salmon fishery, thousands of American jobs and more than $1 billion in annual, renewable economic impact on the state of Alaska. About half the world’s sockeye salmon supply comes from the Bristol Bay fishery, and a subsistence culture still depends on these fish today.
Simply put, this is the wrong mine in the wrong place. It will never be a good idea to store billions and billions of gallons of toxic water behind an earthen dam—in perpetuity—in one of the world’s most seismically active landscapes. It will never be a good idea to dig a massive pit, extract a source of minerals so sparse that the mining site must occupy an immense footprint and leave it behind for generations to come. It will be never be a good idea to trade a long-term, renewable resource for the live-in-the-now, finite resource that mining offers. And it will be a trade. There is no doubt.
Mark Titus, director of the film The Breach, is asking everyone who loves wild places, wild fish and wild country to contact EPA Administrator Pruitt and let him know that turning Bristol Bay into a mining district (and killing the fish that keep Americans working every single year) is not acceptible. Please, follow Titus’ lead, and let the EPA know that Americans have spoken. Pebble Mine must never be developed. Call Pruitt at (202) 564-4700.
— Chris Hunt