Alaska Public Media may not have gotten it quite right, says the Pebble Limited Partnership in a response issued today to a news report.
Pebble CEO Tom Collier released the following statement regarding Governor Walker’s position, which was reported by Alaska Public Media earlier this week as “doubling down” on his opposition to the Pebble Mine:
“We have long stated that our mine must co-exist with the salmon fishery in Bristol Bay or we should not receive a permit to develop it. This week, Governor Walker elaborated on his position regarding Pebble and stated that we have a high burden in convincing him that Pebble should go forward. The Governor is correct. He should be skeptical, ask hard questions of us, and allow the permitting agencies to do their work.
“Governor Walker specifically said he did not have sufficient information for him to be comfortable or supportive of Pebble. He emphasized the burden was on us to prove the project can be done without a risk to the fish in that area. He went on to say it is a high burden that we have not yet met.
“And he is correct.
“The next step is for Pebble to file a comprehensive plan with the state and federal regulatory agencies and for them to do their work. This agency review should be done without prejudging our work either in support or in opposition. As the head of Alaska’s executive branch in charge of these reviews, Governor Walker’s position is well stated.
“Alaska Public Radio portrayed this appropriate skepticism by the governor as doubling down on his opposition to Pebble, a misleading and incorrect portrayal of his position that remains uncorrected.
“The Alaska mining community knows Governor Walker supports mining. We also know he supports fishing. And above all we know he supports a fair process for projects that could contribute to growing Alaska’s economy, providing new jobs, and contributing to local and state government revenue.”
The Pebble Partnership presented the concepts for its proposed mine during a Resource Development Council meeting earlier this week. Before that, the governor made his remarks showing his strong doubts about the project.
The governor did not issue a response contradicting the Alaska Public Media report.
But his statement to the reporter this week before he even reviewed the new plan was nearly the same statement reported by Alaska Journal of Commerce three years ago: “Based on what I know at this point I’m not in favor of Pebble,” Walker said on Oct. 10, 2014.