Pebble Mine: Antithesis of World Bank’s Climate-Smart Plan

Full page bipartisan statement by former EPA Administrators is published in the Washington Post, highlighting “wrong mine, wrong place” as fundamental flaw of embattled Bristol Bay mine 

At today’s World Bank climate smart mining conference, NRDC highlighted the Pebble Mine as the anthesis of smart mining. NRDC Western Director Joel Reynolds cited the Pebble Mine as the best current case study in bad siting based on (1) its location at the headwaters of the planet’s most productive wild salmon fishery; (2) overwhelming local opposition; and (3) the withdrawal of four major mining companies due to the project’s failure to meet their standards for financial, social, or environmental sustainability.

NRDC also joined the tribal and business leaders in Bristol Bay—as well as commercial fishermen, sportsmen, and environmental and conservation organizations—to publish a full-page ad in today’s Washington Post highlighting a powerful statement from former EPA Administrators.

Their message is clear: “The Pebble Mine is the wrong mine in absolutely the wrong place.”

The hard-hitting bipartisan statement is signed by former EPA Administrators William D. Ruckelshaus (Presidents Nixon and Reagan), William K. Reilly (President George H.W. Bush), and Christine Todd Whitman (President George W. Bush). The statement is also joined by former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt (President William J. Clinton), whose former Chief of Staff Tom Collier is currently heading the Pebble Partnership.

The Pebble Mine will always be the wrong mine in the wrong place. Proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the mine would risk a $1.5 billion annual sustainable commercial fishery that provides 14,000 jobs and supplies half of the world’s sockeye salmon. Salmon are not only the linchpin of the region’s economy, but also its lifeblood, providing food, a subsistence-based livelihood, and the sustainable foundation for the language, spirituality and social structure of its tribal communities. Bristol Bay is so special that former President Barack Obama described it as “Alaska's most powerful economic engines and one of America’s greatest national treasures” that is “too special and too valuable to auction off to the highest bidder.”

The Pebble Mine would risk all that, pitting essentially an eternal supply of poison against an eternal supply of food.

Although the Pebble Mine faces overwhelming opposition, the Trump administration is now fast-tracking it through the permitting process. The administration released a rushed and incomplete draft environmental impact statement, which is now open to public comment and review.

Click here to tell the Trump administration to stop the Pebble Mine. Comments will be accepted through May 30, 2019.

About the Authors

Taryn Kiekow Heimer

Deputy Director, Marine Mammal Protection Project, Nature Program

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