UTBB’s Hurley: Protect Bristol Bay Forever

United Tribes of Bristol Bay executive director Alannah Hurley has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Pebble Mine project. Today, her strong opinions on the need to project the region on a permanent basis – a new lawsuit from a coalition led by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy could threaten the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementing Clean Water Act protections – were published in the Anchorage Daily News. Here’s some of Hurley’s op-ed:

I wish I could say this lawsuit came as a surprise. Unfortunately, many of us were expecting Northern Dynasty Minerals — the company behind the Pebble mine — and its allies in the state government to pull every last lever to save this dying project. This company has a long history of misleading the public, their shareholders, and the government, and has proven over and over again, they will do and say anything, regardless of the truth, to try to push the toxic project forward.

The science is clear that the Pebble mine cannot be built in Bristol Bay without damaging its irreplaceable resources. This is exactly why the project’s permit was denied and the EPA protections put in place, not because of the governor’s false narrative that the EPA exercised “unbridled and unlawful power to choke off any further discussion on this important decision affecting so many Alaskans.” This statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

If Gov. Dunleavy would listen to Alaskans on this issue, he would not be spending state dollars in an attempt to reverse protections for Bristol Bay. The reality is his lawsuit is completely out of line with what Alaskans want. New polling shows a strong majority of Alaskans are concerned about protecting all of Bristol Bay from all large-scale mining — especially the Pebble mine — for the long term.