The current president says he’ll “listen to both sides” before deciding on what stance he’ll take on the Pebble Mine. The man set to run against him for commander in chief in November has only side he wants to take.
Here’s more from KTUU:
Deputy National Press Secretary for Joe Biden’s campaign, Matt Hill, confirmed the Democratic presidential hopeful’s comments. In an online statement, Biden wrote, “Bristol Bay has been foundational to the way of life of Alaska Natives for countless generations, provides incredible joy for recreational anglers from across the country, and is an economic powerhouse that supplies half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. It is no place for a mine.”
In the statement, Biden cites a 2014 Obama-Biden Administration Assessment as the basis of his argument. Biden says he stands by that assessment and says, “The only reason we are still debating whether Pebble Mine should move forward is because hours after former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with a mining executive behind closed doors, the Trump Administration reversed our thoughtful decision.”
The Pebble Partnership has responded by saying that the Final EIS and Record of Decision is what will determine federal action at the Pebble prospect. Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier responded to Biden’s comments saying the Final EIS released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 24, 2020 will “without any doubt whatsoever” serve as the administrative record for all federal regulatory and permitting decisions at Pebble.
As you can guess, there was plenty of reaction from the Democratic ticket’s stance. Here’s SalmonState:
ANCHORAGE—SalmonState applauds Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pledge, this weekend, that as president he would stop the proposed Pebble Mine, the toxic project planned for the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska: the greatest sockeye salmon run on Earth.
“We are grateful to Joe Biden for promising to stop the rushed, corrupt, error-riddled rush to ‘yes’ for the proposed Pebble Mine, and for recognizing the importance of Bristol Bay and its tens of millions of salmon to Tribes, fishermen, Alaskans, the economy and the world,” said SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol. “There’s no place else like Bristol Bay left on the planet. We look forward to the day the Environmental Protection Agency exercises its authority under the Clean Water Act to veto this toxic project.”
Biden accurately stated that Bristol Bay “is no place for a mine,” as quoted in the Anchorage Daily News today, August 9. “The Obama-Biden Administration reached that conclusion when we ran a rigorous, science-based process in 2014, and it is still true today.” he continued. “Now, Alaskan culture, traditions, and jobs are on the line. As president, I will do what President Trump has failed to do: listen to the scientists and experts to protect Bristol Bay — and all it offers to Alaska, our country, and the world.”
Bipartisan opposition to the proposed mine has been strong in Alaska and outside of it for almost two decades now. Former Republican senator Ted Stevens called it “the wrong mine in the wrong place.” Former Republican governor Jay Hammond famously told the Washington Post that “I can’t imagine a worse location for a mine of this type, unless it was in my kitchen.” In a recent poll, 62 percent of Alaskans were against the mine, while only 31 percent were for it. As recently as last week, some of the many diverse figures who stated their opposition to the mine are Donald Trump Jr.; Nick Ayers, former chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence; country music star Zac Brown; country music star Kix Brooks; Jane Fonda; and Jimmy Kimmel. A large, broad array of businesses, from Tiffany & Co to Whole Foods to Orvis, are also against the mine, which would dig a giant hole and poise at least 10.2 billion tons of toxic waste at the headwaters of Bristol Bay forever.
Some Twitter buzz: