Dunleavy, State Of Alaska Working With Law Firm Not Contracted To Handle Pebble Mine Case

As the State of Alaska and Gov. Mike Dunleavy have solicited support from the United States Supreme Court to reinstate the now prohibited Pebble Mine, the state’s reported legal representation in the case is a controversial one, as Alaska-based reporter Dermot Cole, who writes the blog Reporting From Alaska, reminds in a recent post.

The Virginia firm Alaska has chosen, which has ties to the legal issues confronting former President (and likely 2024 Republican candidate) Donald Trump, does not have a contract to work on the State of Alaska’s case to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s blockage of the Pebble project. The firm, Consovoy McCarthy, is already working with Dunleavy on two other Alaska cases, most notably the state’s contentious battle with federal fisheries agencies over the former’s Kuskokwim River fishing regulations management. But as Cole reports, the firm’s connection to the Pebble case seems to not legally contracted to be involved:

The state revised the Kuskokwim River contract this year in March to include the direct appeal of the Pebble mine case to the Supreme Court as part of Consovoy McCarthy’s assignment. The two cases in two courts are to be billed separately.

The Pebble mine case has nothing to do with the Kuskokwim fishing case, so this should have been a separate procurement, but the Dunleavy administration prefers doing business with Consovoy McCarthy and avoiding competitive bids.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on whether or not the State of Alaska’s case will be heard sometime this month. The United Tribes of Bristol Bay and Bristol Bay Native Corporation filed an amicus brief opposing the motion to get SCOTUS involved.