Relying on the comprehensive Watershed Assessment completed last week by EPA, Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich announced on Sunday that he is opposed to development of the Pebble Mine. “Wrong mine, wrong place . . . Too many potential long-term impacts . . . .” A threat to a world-class fishery not only “critical to that area but also to Alaska, to world markets.”
Considered and unequivocal. Well grounded in science. Sensible in recognizing the need to protect 14,000 jobs and $1.5 billion each year in revenue generated by the commerical fishery. And strongly reminiscent of the position stated by his predecessor former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.
Over many months, he has met with and heard a wide range of stakeholders from all quarters in this high profile controversy. While he is predictably being criticized by the Pebble Limited Partnership (now consisting only of the Canadian mining company Northern Dynasty Minerals) for opposing their project, he is being widely praised by Alaska native leaders, commercial and recreational fishermen, conservationists, and a wide range of Alaskan stakeholders.
On behalf of NRDC and its 1.3 million members and activists, we enthusiastically join the applause for Senator Begich, and we congratulate him on his leadership.