The following is courtesy of Defend Bristol Bay:
While Alaskans are preoccupied trying to stay safe and healthy, the Dunleavy Administration appears to be taking advantage of the uncertainty and cheerlead for the Pebble Mine. On April 15, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers urging them to rush the permitting process despite their obligations surrounding the current Covid-19 Pandemic.
Just three weeks ago a comprehensive list of Bristol Bay based organizations sent a letter requesting that the US Army Corps of Engineers pause the Pebble permit process during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of Alaska not only ignored those requests, it sent the exact opposite message to the federal government, telling them to stick to a politically driven timeline despite the chaos.
DNR Commissioner Corri Feige wrote, “We strongly encourage [Army Corps of Engineers] to adhere to your defined NEPA schedule. With economic impacts felt at the federal, state, and local levels from COVID-19 and the current oil prices, we should be doing everything in our authority and ability to keep projects of statewide importance moving forward. The proposed Pebble Mine Project is important to Alaskans, as it will provide jobs, infrastructure, and revenues critical for local, regional, and statewide economies that are being significantly impacted by COVID-19.”
DNR’s job is to represent the people of Alaska. Instead, Commissioner Feige felt the need to directly contradict the people of Bristol Bay; adding additional stress and uncertainty to a season like none other. This is government at its worst, working on behalf of foreign interests rather than the health of Bristol Bay residents and the economic backbone of the region.
You, our supporters, have been amazing these past few months. Hundreds of you have tuned in to our Virtual Town Halls and thousands of you have taken our actions and called our elected officials. Right now, they underestimate the strength of our collective voice. With your support, we can put an end to this mine.
We know these are hard times for many. But if you can give, we will make sure the donations are spent defending Alaska and Bristol Bay. With your contribution, we can amplify all of our voices and make sure that we are heard!
Thank you for your endless support,
Defend Bristol Bay