Earth Day surprise from Joe Biden: ‘No build option’ on Ambler Access Road?

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Among resource development and legal professionals in Alaska there’s a big topic this week: President Joe Biden is planning on shutting down access to the Ambler Mining District.

Word is that Biden will be playing to his environmentalist base on Monday, Earth Day, with the Bureau of Land Management issuing a decision on the right of way needed through federal land: It will be the “no build” option.

Earth Day in an election year means using public symbolism as a campaign asset. Since Biden polls poorly in Alaska and will likely not be getting any of the three electoral votes from the resource-rich state, canceling the Ambler Access Project comes at no cost to him with Alaska voters, but is a sure way to shore up his support in the powerful environmental community in major urban areas of the country.

It won’t be the only big symbolic gesture by the Biden Administration on Earth Day, but if sources are correct, it will be one of the biggest shutdowns in the nation announced that day. Due to the fragile state of global peace and Biden’s expanding wars, he may not attack oil and gas on Earth Day. But mining in Alaska? That one is easy and can gain him a lot of mileage with Democrats.

The Ambler Access Project is a proposed 211-mile, controlled industrial-access road that would provide access to the Ambler Mining District from Bornite to the Dalton Highway. The area currently lacks the transportation infrastructure needed for the development, construction, and operations of potential mines in the district. President Donald Trump’s administration issued an environmental impact statement for the road, but that EIS was suspended by Biden, pending further review. The Biden Administration wanted a different answer.

The large prospective copper-zinc mineral source has extensive deposits of critical minerals and other elements that are needed for the technologies Americans depend on, for green-energy products, and for military readiness. It will create hundreds of high-paying jobs for families in an area of the state where poverty is the greatest.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has been working to get the road built for years.

The access to Ambler is enshrined in federal law through Section 201(4) of Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA.)

Violating that law will no-doubt draw a lawsuit from the State of Alaska, AIDEA, and others who will demand that Biden follows what was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.

The draft supplemental environmental impact statement has gone through its public comment period in 2023, and many professionals in the mining field have predicted the announcement about the decision would come in the second quarter of 2024.

“Throughout 2021, the Ambler Access Project made significant progress achieving multiple land access milestones, including rights-of-way (ROW) between AIDEA, the National Park Service (NPS), and BLM as well as an AIDEA-Doyon land access agreement and an AIDEA-NANA land access permit. The agreement and permit with Doyon and NANA, respectively, are effective until December 31, 2024,” the agency said. “Note that these are not ROW agreements. Project resources were added to advance the project through Final Feasibility and Permitting, including a dedicated program manager, external communications manager, and a team of contractors to complete nine critical scopes of work.”

In 2021 and 2022, several key stakeholders published letters and resolutions in support of the AAP, including Northwest Arctic Borough, the Native Village of Shungnak, Alaska’s Congressional Delegation, the Alaska Chamber, the Alaska Miners Association, the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Council of Alaska Producers, and Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has formally communicated with the Bureau of Land Management regarding the importance of including recent tribal support in the decision-making process for the Ambler Access Road Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

The letter sent to BLM Alaska State Director, Steven Cohn, highlights tribal endorsements from several communities closest to the project – Allakaket, Ruby, and Hughes – and provides “good cause” for acceptance into the record along with the reminder of BLM’s commitment to meaningful consultation with tribal communities—a key factor in its previous decision to revisit the original EIS.

Tribal leaders and communities closest to the project area have expressed their support, highlighting how the project aligns with their community’s interests, AIDEA has pointed out.

  • “Our future generation needs to have opportunities to earn a good living and support our families, as well as, stay in the community and practice subsistence. Supporting the Ambler Road is our way of steering towards a path of economic strength and job creation. Our commitment to our community’s future is unwavering. This resolution embodies our dedication to responsible resource development and securing a prosperous future for our younger and coming generations,” said Thelma Nicholia, chief of Hughes Village.
  • “In the words of Larry Westlake, the right question to ask is not ‘what happens to our communities and Tribal members if a road is built and mining occurs’ but ‘what happens to our communities and Tribal members if a road is not built and no jobs or opportunity exists for our children and future generations,’” said PJ Simon, first chief of Allakaket Village Council.

“The Ruby Tribal Council is dedicated to ensuring jobs and opportunities for our children and grandchildren. The resolution stands as a testament to our village’s dedication to responsible resource development. We want to have a say over our future and supporting the Ambler Road is one way we can plan for future generations,” said Chief Patrick McCarty, first chief of the Ruby Tribal Council.

  • “I strongly believe that the road will greatly benefit my community and I’m not alone. Many of my neighbors also support the road, as do other villages in the region. I worry though that our voices are getting drowned out by people outside the region [who] don’t understand thestruggles of my community,” said Miles Cleveland, president of the Native Village of Ambler and Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly member.

The North Slope Borough Assembly and Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly stated a resolution the importance of “geotechnical work to proceed, and to promote responsible natural resource development that benefits our people for the long term.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy requested that the Bureau of Land Management consider the tribal support and project significance for Alaskans in the SEIS process.

“The resolutions from these tribal communities are a clear indication of the importance of this project. Their inclusion in the final decision process by the BLM is not only appropriate but essential for a project of this magnitude,” Dunleavy said in a statement.

“AIDEA expects BLM to recognize the weight of these community support resolutions as a critical element in the decision-making process,” said Randy Ruaro, executive director of AIDEA. “Honoring the principles of collaboration and respect are central to sustainable economic development. AIDEA is committed to responsible resource development on the Ambler Access Project, mirroring the success and approach of the Red Dog Mine, which exemplifies how economic development and environmental stewardship can both be achieved.”

The Ambler Access Project Subsistence Advisory Committee recently adopted protections for fish and wildlife which emphasize the balance between responsible resource development and the protection of subsistence resources.

Extreme environmentalists oppose the access because they say it will harm caribou migration in the area. The Sierra Club, based in Oakland, Calif., wrote, “The Ambler Road, 50 miles above the Arctic Circle, is the last thing Native hunters and wildlife need.”

48 COMMENTS

  1. Please don’t say this is a surprise. This was telegraphed long ago.

    The lease was meant to be approved. Not developed.

    • “………The lease was meant to be approved. Not developed.”
      Precidely. Spend a few billion on environmental reviews and legal wrangling, then shelve it for a few decades. Pull it off the shelf and repeat, then shelf it again. Eventually, it will be deemed “shovel ready”.

  2. If the locals think the well-off eco warriors give 1/3 a damn what happens to natives, they need to think again.

    They are more than happy to see native communities and peoples quietly die off. Unless they want one to show off to their bridge club to show how “enlightened” they are.

  3. I was invited to a liberal meeting about this area many years ago. I do not know why I was invited as I support the Ambler Road and resource extraction in general. Most of the people in attendance were guiding a eco tourism people in the area. It became obvious that the people didn’t care about the environment but saw the area as a paycheck. I kept my mouth shut and listened and as ai did I once again became convinced that most of the so called environmentalists are just trying to line their pockets with cash.

    • Tom; ”Breaking News” President Trump’s Army Corp. of Engineers permit denial for pebble mine still stands.

      You need to study these mining proposals and the ball milled ore that instantly causes metallic ionization and acid generated sulfides that contaminates with toxic poison’s Alaska’s Rivers, Lakes and Streams. You need to study strip, and open pit mining as well as drift and tunnel mines.
      Read about the Mt Polley Mine disaster in British Columbia.
      Just writing emotionally charged rhetorical lines does not help anybody.

      • Do you use manufactured products? Maybe you should stop if they’re damaging the environment.

      • I would like to know why electic vehicles and windmills, completely dependant on mining with child labor in third-world countries with little, if any, environmental safeguards, is socially responsible and good for the environment. If the so-called clean movement is mandating mining, shouldn’t we do it with adult labor in countries that have strict environmental safeguards and safety standards?

      • 3rd. I’m impressed that you are factual and even. That SHOULD be persuasive even to diamond poopers like Jefferson. But the republicans are all grievance, disdain of reason and major hypocrites. Gotta keep trying to educate I suppose.

        • I’m a traditional republican, not a far right radical extremist and definitely not a democrat. I will be voting for Trump.

  4. Joe Biden also plans to surprise us by signing “The New Pandemic Treaty” giving away all our rights forever! This May!

    ‘https://www.brighteon.com/252d419a-8c3c-4fc9-bcef-874918c2e141

    • Who. Here’s a quote from that website: “ David Martin on "Pandemic Treaty" Global World Government Signing over all Human Rights by a Non Elected Pedo Group headed by Kluas Anal Swab (son of Nazi officer) (1) [mirrored]

      Do you believe this? Yes or no.

  5. This is a racist attack on the native communities in the area whom desperately need high paying jobs and big dividend checks. How much longer do we let this crap go on ?? Native leaders best stand up and fight it’s your grand kids future at stake here. Where is Lisa, where is peltola, where is Sullivan.??? That district is nearly as wealthy in metals as the north slope is in oil & gas.

    • Natives don’t want mineral resource giveaway’s to foreigners, they want fish, caribou, clean waters.

      • They are not giving them away you moron. I have found most of the community’s near red dog are thriving so get your facts straight old 3 rd gen sack.

        • Your comments are weak, you do not study or do research, so you resort to name calling and you will never gain any traction with MRAs average reader.

        • There are almost 90 tribes with published resolutions against this road. The few here mentioned that are for it – none are near the proposed road and in two AIDEA has “consulting contracts” with chiefs. Their own people are publicly accusing them of taking bribes and lying about the village stance. Natives don’t want this.

      • 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂 Just call yourselves The Gimmees. So…you want to sit around and have Big Daddy drop taxpayer cash in your lap. Way to keep the stereotype alive.

  6. The federal government which is supposed to be comprised of the American people has run off the rails. The wonderful (environmental) groups in America would rather mine 3rd world countries with child labor and no environmental regulations for the materials to make their electric cars. These people are unbelievably evil. The day of reckoning is near.

  7. My one and only political joy remaining in my waning years is to vote against each and every Democrat or independent hiding under cover from his or her true colors.

  8. Dementia Joe’s unspoken response is: It makes more sense to import the valuable copper zinc critical mineral deposits needed for development of American Technology for green energy from foreign countries that can use child and slave labor to meet the market demands of this valuable resource which also repays those valuable cash gifts to Hunter and Uncle Frank as well as the the Big Guy from foreign adversaries. It will also help fund their military industrial complex to aid in the eventual assault on America.

    One final word for the day…”You aint black if you aint votin for me”

    • Uhhhhhhhhh are you serious?
      I guess you haven’t seen the billions we’ve been sending overseas or the billions we are spending trying to support the border crossers. We’re still flying in afghan refugees….still. This is one of the stupidest comments I’ve ever seen you post and that’s saying something.

  9. “…….Tribal leaders and communities closest to the project area have expressed their support……..”
    They also oppose anybody else using thevroad. As far as I’m concerned, if the public doesn’t have full access to the entire road, and all public lands adjacent to it, federal resources shouldn’t build it.

  10. Another resource giveaway to foreign owned mining company Trilogy Metals a controlling decision maker who are absolved of any environmental disasters by they’er lengthy disclaimer. The road would have crossed 10 major salmon bering rivers, hundreds of streams. The caribou herd is already in trouble.
    Doyon Ltd has dropped support of the access road which by the way, will not be open to the public and is not in (ROW) agreement. Also would violate the Rivers and Harbors Act and Clean Water Act. Ambler Assay results are not complete.
    Alaska already has thousands of mines.
    As a native Alaskan, I would much prefer federal control over this mine and proposed access rather than foreign control 😉

    • “Alaska already has thousands of mines.”

      And with that absurdly inaccurate and dishonest claim, you have driven the last nail into the coffin of your credibility here, 3rd Degeneration Alaskan.

      • I know we have mines here in Juneau loaded with un mined gold we’re not allowed to utilize.

        Even if the 1000s claim was true, it’s useless if one can’t actually work them.

        The “logic” of such a claim may make sense to a progressive, but to users of common sense it’s “frank” level stupid.

      • Jefferson; Alaska has 9,896 mines, gold, copper, silver, lead and zinc. . I own 2 Placer Claims on the Kenai. Read The Diggings, a reliable source.

      • MA; Protecting the Salmon resource is a conservative value, ask president Trump, and why his Army Corp. of Engineers denied the pebble permits 😉

        • Protecting the spotted owl and saving its critical habitat through the decimation of responsible forestry management which prevents statewide loss of all timber in the Pacific Northwest was most definitely a very specific value of Jimmy Carter and his ignorant sack of cronies.
          However the inevitable eventual result of the hippies chaining themselves to the trees to stop the logging process which included fire breaks in the logged forests only resulted in massive out of control wildfires we witnessed in 2020-2021 which burned hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable timber. (and spotted owl habitat)
          That was another result of sound federal control of states resources.
          If you were truly a traditional republican you would most definitely not be ranting and raving about wanting federal control over Alaskans and their rights to responsible development.
          If “your” caribou herd is already in trouble then that would be the result of your “feds” in control of the caribou herd but dont worry Lisa’s double barrel shotgun will bring “your” herd back up to snuff with her Salmon Sister Mary from Bethel…yeah the one with her pockets bulging with cash from certain groups that need her.
          The feds will F**K it up for everyone.

          • You are incorrect, and watch your language.

            President Theodore Roosevelt locked up more land than any president.

            We are talking a resource giveaway to foreigners that is on Salmon bering

            wetlands and who’s disclaimer completely absolves them from any kind of toxic

            pollution damage what so ever. Feds indicate that native subsistence rights were

            never considered.

            I’m through with you.

            You need to study what Ball Milled ore does immediately, and worse when it

            comes into contact with water. Would you drink that?, well I guess that was a

            stupid question, you probably would.

    • Listen you dumb ass. These mines are traded on the stock market just like ford or Tesla, a very large percentage of this stock is owned by Americans. And for that matter Alaskan companies did most of the exploration flying, camp support, and drilling which is in the hundreds of millions in the ambler district. Now when they start mining hundred s if not thousands of people will be employed mostly Alaskans just like red dog. The borough will charge the mining company’s taxes. When Valdez’s creek mine was going in the 90s they were the largest tax payer in the mat su borough. The equipment dealers in Alaska will benefit, the grocery stores in Fairbanks will benefit but trying to explain this to a looser like yourself is a waste of time. You are responsible for the destruction of the native communities in that region. It’s illegal to contaminate the water so that issue is off the table. Of course your oil dripping Subaru in the wall mart parking lot doesn’t apply.

    • Only “3rd Generation Alaskan”? – you’re not the Native Alaskan you present yourself to be, and your opinions as expressed are only those of yourself. Developing the Ambler mining district and road access has been a controversial issue discussed and fought for more than 40 years. What is happening now is purely political bs, and people’s lives are in the balance.

      • If one identifies as “3rd gen alaskan native” it gives one more credibility…as they once owned the land before the Russians sold it out from under them.
        Much like the politicians who have camped out in DC forever and ever and ever….they own the land AND us as well as our money.
        (There will be 87,000 more federal agents finding loopholes in tax returns to be used as a tool take the land we think we own.)

  11. That’s what you get for believing in and voting for Biden. Biden betrays everyone Biden and lib dem voters should be happy. Learn anything yet?

    • You are correct in assuming that.
      That is exactly why ASRC fully endorsed Lisa Murkowski during her last selection.
      That was a gift to her for voting to comfirm Deb Haaland who is protecting the natives from excess oil development.(which increases the demand and price on domestic oil production in Haalands home state of New Mexico)
      Lisa was also fully endorsed and funded by Sammy”The Bankman”Freid with stolen funds from foolish investors…(Who else would give money to a california kid having orgies with his buddies and stanford professors for parents)

  12. What they need is a railroad. If you are going to haul ore, coal or any bulk product a railroad is the only way to go. Connect with the Alaska railroad and save most all handling problems.

  13. Why would the communist Chinese allow Pebble Mine or Ambler Mining District to be developed?
    .
    Fully developing mines could loosen, even eliminate, the strategic stranglehold which the communist Chinese have on America because the Chinese dominate the rare-earth mining and refining industry.
    .
    This scenario can’t be allowed to happen.
    The communist Chinese economic forecast is gloomy.
    Even in communist countries, regime change happens if things get too gloomy.
    This means Americans can’t be allowed to disrupt Chinese dominance of the rare-earth industry.
    (‘https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/27/economy/china-economy-challenges-2024-intl-hnk/index.html)
    .
    All is not lost, however.
    .
    Alaska’s largest trading partner is communist China which suggests Alaska’s lobbyist-legislator team could be persuaded, profitably perhaps that restricting Pebble Mine and Ambler Mining District development is good for the environment.
    .
    Recall the Biden family’s and former Alaska guv, China Bill Walker’s secret deals with the communist Chinese… could shutting down Pebble Mine and Ambler Mining District have been part of their secret deal(s), or indeed the reason why the deals were secret, and profitable?
    .
    Could the “No build option” simply be the result of a signal from the Middle Kingdom that it’s time for the Biden family to fulfill their end of the deal?

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