A congressional hearing was held yesterday in Washington titled, “The Pebble Mine Project: Process and Potential Impacts.” Among the speakers was our friend from Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, owner Brian Kraft.
Here’s more on the hearing from Defend Bristol Bay:
As we noted, it’s been a big week in the fight against Pebble. Yesterday, a Congressional oversight committee held a hearing about Pebble that was full of fire! If you have the time, we recommend you check it out.
If not, here are the highlights:
Chairman DeFazio (D, Oregon) did not pull any punches in his opening remarks. He lead by stating “right from the start, that the Pebble Mine proposal is a bad idea made even worse by the sham review process currently underway.” DeFazio held this hearing in part, because of his “deep disappointment with the Corps of Engineers on their track record of review for this project to date. If the Corps continues its current path to rush approval of this project, I believe this will be a stain on the reputation of this proud institution, which continues to serve as our nation’s premier water resources agency.”
Of course, Pebble CEO Tom Collier was on the defense. He tried to argue that the debate over Pebble was “now over” and their mine would not impact the fisheries. But lawmakers and Bristol Bay leaders reminded him that the Draft Environmental Impacts Statement was facing a mountain of critique from other state and federal agencies. They also reminded Tom that he was less interested in the mine, than he was in accepting that $12.5 million bonus once Pebble Mine gets permitted.
Several Alaskans traveled all the way to Washington DC to testify in front of congress about the importance of Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay leader and director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, Alannah Hurley, passionately outlined the issues at stake and reminded everyone that:
The two hour long hearing mounted a strong case against Pebble and cast serious doubt on a flawed and corrupt permitting process. In addition to leaders from Bristol Bay and Alaska, the committee also heard from leaders in the jewelry industry and a former executive at Rio Tinto (the second-largest mining company in the world) also testified that much of Pebble’s plan is not only unproven but also stands to lose money.
With a fishing industry that boasts over 1.5 billion dollars in annual revenue and record breaking salmon returns, we can’t risk Bristol Bay for a mine that is based on lies. The Pebble Mine project simply cannot be permitted and this sham of process needs to end now.
Defend Bristol Bay