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Say No Now to Pebble Mine

Joel Reynolds

Posted March 23, 2010 in Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Pebble Limited Partnership CEO John Shively was on the stump last week asking people to withhold judgment, to wait and see whether the consortium of foreign mining corporations behind the massive Pebble Mine project proposed for the watershed above Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska can come up with a plan that won’t threaten the health, environment, and economic viability of Bristol Bay and the communities that depend on it.

 Bristol Bay photo by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Never mind that the 40,000 square mile Bristol Bay watershed feeds one of the most productive salmon fisheries in the world, generating over $400 million in revenue each year and tens of thousands of jobs.

Forget about the mega-mine scheme that the Pebble Partnership has already proposed, including an open pit two-miles wide and 2000 feet deep, and an underground mine up to 5000 feet deep, located at the region’s headwaters, next to Lake Iliamna, the source that, with the Nushagak River to the north, feeds the entire watershed and Bristol Bay itself.

Ignore the estimated 9 billion tons of mining waste containing toxic metals that the project would generate and the devastation that construction and operation of the mine would wreak on the interconnected hydrology of this seismically active region.

Disregard both the scientific consensus that copper, in even infinitesimal amounts, is toxic to salmon, interfering with their homing ability that is essential to their existence, and Pebble Partners’ prediction that Pebble could become one of the largest copper mines in the world.

Pay no attention to the overwhelming opposition of the communities that, for thousands of years, have depended on the health of the fisheries for their survival.

And, whatever you do, don’t think about the disastrous record of environmental failure of large-scale hard rock mines around the world, including mines operated by Anglo American, the very foreign conglomerate behind Pebble Mine itself.

John Shively’s invitation  to “wait and see” should be declined.

Pebble Mine is a toxic disaster in the making, and it should be abandoned now.  There are a lot of places in the world to mine copper and gold.  But there is no compelling reason to allow a foreign consortium to destroy one of America’s great national treasures and jeopardize the health and livelihood of American citizens.

Please take action now and sign our petition.  Tell Anglo American that you won't tolerate the destruction of America's natural and cultural heritage in order to line its own pockets.

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Comments

JJMar 23 2010 09:39 PM

Pebble Limited Partnership management claims that risks are small and can be mitigated.

I say that when the externalities from private industrial activities (such as mining and extraction) on public land present great risk other public (and private 3rd party) recources, then Pebble Limited Partnership senior management and controlling partners MUST INDEMNIFY against all related damages.

Thus, managers and controlling partners would realize that damages caused by industrial accidents would be extracted from THEIR OWN personal assets and NOT limited partners or insurance companies--imagine how this would alter Company conduct should the operation begin.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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