Pebble Mine opponents have been leery about the thought process of Alaska’s highest-ranking political figures and their stance on the mine. And while Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski have publicly opposed the project in recent months, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s decision today to plan an appeal of the rejected application won’t win him much support from Pebble’s detractors.
Friday, Dunleavy announced that the Alaska Department of Law will file an appeal over the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s decision to deny the 404 permit.
“The flawed decision by the Alaska District creates a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly harm Alaska’s future and, any potential project can fall victim to the same questionable standards,” Dunleavy said in a prepared statement. “We have to prevent a federal agency, in this instance, the Alaska District of the Army Corps of Engineers, from using the regulatory process to effectively prevent the State from fulfilling a constitutional mandate to develop its natural resources.”
Here’s some reaction from around the state, starting with Trout Unlimited’s Alaska chapter:
In response to Governor Dunleavy’s intention to appeal the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to deny the 404 permit for the proposed Pebble mine, Nelli Williams, Alaska director of Trout Unlimited, issued the following statement:
“’Flawed’ can only be used to describe the Dunleavy Administration’s logic here. The science is clear that the proposed Pebble mine will cause permanent and catastrophic harm to Bristol Bay’s waters and fisheries. At every turn, Alaskans have made clear that developing the Pebble deposit is a risk they’re unwilling to take. This appeal just goes to show Governor Dunleavy has lost sight of Alaska’s best interests and is out of touch with the people he’s supposed to represent.”
United Tribes of Bristol Bay:
“Bristol Bay residents and Alaskans have been clear that we will not trade one of the world’s last robust salmon fisheries for a gold mine, and the Army Corps decision affirmed that this toxic project is too risky for our home and does not serve the public interest. It’s outrageous that Gov. Dunleavy and his administration would go against the will of Alaskans to benefit a foreign mining company that has no value to our state, and shows once again how out of touch he is.” -United Tribes of Bristol Bay Deputy Director Lindsay Layland
ANCHORAGE— Today’s announcement from the State of Alaska that it will appeal the rejection of Pebble’s permit application is deeply disappointing and once again shows the Dunleavy Administration prioritizes the interests of a disgraced foreign mining company over the thousands of Alaskans who depend on Bristol Bay’s incredible wild salmon fishery for their livelihoods and ways of life.
“While science prevailed when the Army Corps rejected the proposed Pebble Mine’s Clean Water Act permit, Governor Mike Dunleavy’s continued interference on behalf of the Pebble Partnership shows Bristol Bay is far from safe,” said SalmonState Executive Director Tim Bristol. “In announcing the State will appeal, the governor has chosen to ignore scientific fact and the large majority of Alaskans. The only way to stop this toxic project for good is with an EPA veto. We urge President-elect Biden and Congress to act swiftly and decisively to reenact lasting protections for Bristol Bay — a one-of-a-kind American resource.”