Mining votes: Peltola files House bill to lock into law EPA’s preemptive veto of Pebble Mine

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Rep. Mary Peltola introduced the Bristol Bay Protection Act, new legislation that would codify an agency-level 2023 Environmental Protection Agency decision to preemptively veto mining in the Bristol Bay region.

The move comes after Peltola suddenly flipped her position on the proposed Donlin Mine. Earlier in her career as a fish activist, she worked against the mine, but recently she reversed her position and now says she favors it. Her position-flipping has cost her some support in the Western Alaska region.

Although the new Pebble bill has “Bristol Bay Protection” in its title, the bill actually targets one company, the Pebble Partnership, and its project, a proposed copper-gold-molybdenum mining project that is far inland from Bristol Bay, but that is considered within the watershed of the salmon fishery.

The bill was drafted back in January, but appears to have been held for a time when it could be politically helpful.

May 1 was the day to get some media cover for other votes. In addition to this bill being filed on Wednesday, Peltola controversially voted against oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, vote sure to upset many of her constituents.

“I came to DC to stand up for fish – to make fishing and the livelihoods of our fishing communities the national issue it deserves to be,” said Peltola, in a statement about Pebble. “Whole communities rely on Bristol Bay’s watershed for subsistence and as a deeply interwoven part of their social and cultural practices. In introducing this bill, we’re moving to protect our fisheries and streams, water supply, and the deep value that these waters have had to Alaska Natives who have relied on them for thousands of years.”

The Pebble Partnership commented that the bill is bad public policy to put in law a regulatory action. It’s interfering in an active court case the State of Alaska has over the EPA decision. The Pebble Project also has its own lawsuit.

“This legislation attempts to codify what many in Alaska’s development community view as a concerning and legally questionable action by the EPA. It is poor public policy and will be of great concern to people in Alaska who support responsible development and fair process for evaluating projects. It is worth noting that Alaska’s two senators remain very opposed to this EPA action. Pebble and the state of Alaska have challenged EPAs action in court and we believe that is the best place to sort out the many policy issues generated by the EPA against the project,” the company said in a statement.

Pebble is located on state-owned land set aside for mining, but the EPA has exerted its authority through its interpretation of the Clean Water Act.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Petola is losing her base. North Slope Natives prefer development of oil and gas resources in their region. She’s not strong enough to survive this.

  2. Many in the area want Pebble for the jobs. Unless you are a boat captain, or a crew member who largely gets taken advantage of, commercial fishing doesn’t benefit that many. The region needs more high paying jobs.

    • Indeed, Brother Forkner! Janitors, dishwashers, maids, and the like, eh? It’s not as if they are qualified for more than menial work! So the locals are standing in line to be screwed, eh? Pebble will give it to ’em!

    • Greg, Yay, Something we agree on! (Most of us have more in common than not.) The natives in western Alaska have been “played” by the rich lodge owners who do not want anyone in their backyard–even if it won’t harm anything. And the fishing industry from Washington has a long and glorious history of not benefiting the native people very much. I have looked at the maps and I totally disagree with Ted Stevens. This is a great location for a mine. He was just doing a Petola–buying votes by his infamous lack of support for this project. The people there just wallow in their poverty and don’t realize how much better some jobs and economic development could help them. And the person who calls themselves Lucifer’s Road House doesn’t think that even a menial job is better than NO job?

      • Gretchen; The pebble plan was for this mine,s ore to be ball milled into a fine powder that pollutes from the beginning with Toxic acid generated sulfides, ionization and oxidation which is poison.
        Now, would you drink the water from pebbles man made lake, no, I didn’t think so, but don’t worry, there’s not going to be a pebble mine.

        • 3rd Degeneration, your hyperbolic rhetoric here once again only highlights your utter ignorance of mining. Are you sure you are not a Poison Ivy League student?

          I have news for you, MANY mines use ball-milling, flotation and even heap leaching without any harm to their immediate environments, much less surrounding watersheds. Red Dog Mine north of Kotzebue, for example, has been mining one of the most concentrated and sulfide-rich ore deposits (zinc and lead) for over 30 years, and not only have they never polluted even the immediate streams, those streams are significantly if not radically CLEANER and less contaminated than they were before the mine went into operation. The same can be said, with variations of course, for Pogo, Fort Knox, Greens Creek and Kensington Mines.

          I will admit, ONE of the initial proposals for the Pebble Mine, the one with the giant 700 foot tall earthen dam and giant tailings lake behind it, was not a good idea. Which was why it was shot down very early in the process. Later proposals have been for underground mining with back-filling, which would reduce the potential for any significant surface or groundwater contamination to near zero.

          Why don’t you try acting, and talking, more like a real Alaskan, and less like a Left Coast radical leftist extremist.

          • Red Dog mine has polluted Red Dog creek with mining Toxins but no fish in that creek so no big deal.
            Pebble is in the middle of the worlds largest Red salmon spawning grounds which God put there and not to be monkeyed with.
            Pebble is dead and is on the hook for millions after loosing their security’s fraud case in court. Look it up.

  3. Peltola finally does one thing that I agree with and am sure President Trump would agree with her also, after all, it was Trump who shutdown the foreign owned would be mine by Army Corp. of Engineers permit denial.

    The June of 2023 fraud conviction will not help pebble in their court case against the USA as the defense will use that like a club.

  4. How many full-time jobs does this approach provide? What other approaches provide competing ‘like’ job opportunities for locals?

    How does this approach positively affect local Business? What other approaches offer ‘like’ opportunities for local Businesses?

    Does this approach help to provide generational opportunities? What other approaches offer ‘like’ generational opportunities for Alaskans and Alaska?

    Does this approach help generate Tax Royalties? What other approaches provide ‘like’ Tax Royalties?

    The easiest thing to do is exactly what Peltola is doing … ie: Locking up resources and encouraging Industry to explore/produce elsewhere but, her obstructionists approach is not providing meaningful and lasting results that help Alaskans and/or Alaska.

    She is a clear-n-present-danger, a ‘CANCER’ that has infected Alaskan’s and Alaska’s future of potential opportunities. She’s clearly doing this for selfish and egotistical reasons. We need to cut the CANCER out before it does any further damage. We need to set aside the “Queens Rules of Canterbury” and pursue the “UnGentlemanly Rules of Victory” and implement with aggressive conviction!

    • 2000. Proposed 750 to 1000 local jobs. That would be a huge impact on the local economy. Gill letters and purse seiner mostly employ family. If you don’t have a permit, you’re screwed.

      • You are taking the word of pebble who is notorious for lies and propaganda (Securities fraud conviction 2023), contractors bring in their own people to run mine’s plus all open pit mines in wet areas close down for 6 months (Freeze up) , so, what jobs? People want to go to Anchorage for jobs.
        The debate is mute, there’s not going to be a pebble mine.

        • The mine isn’t going to run itself. I think that’s your problem right there. Can you imagine in Alaska? So many conservatives, with so many different points of view. Nobody can decide if it’s sunny outside or raining.

        • People don’t want to go to Anchorage. People need to go to Anchorage to get work. And then they starve out there and either become homeless or go limping back to the village.

        • “plus all open pit mines in wet areas close down for 6 months (Freeze up)”

          Just when I thought you could not be MORE ignorant of mining, 3rd Degeneration, you manage to top yourself.

          The operators and workers of Red Dog Mine, located in the arctic 100 miles north of Kotzebue, will be fascinated to learn this “fact”. And imagine, all these decades they have managed to mine throughout the arctic winter without your wisdom to guide them!

          • Your entire post is incorrect, Red Dog can operate during the winter because of little precipitation.
            Pebble will not happen, so says president Trump, Native corporations around the perimeter of the proposed mine, all former partners bailed before the permit process, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Mitsubishi, and First Quantum Minerals, our entire congressional delegation said no, 80% of Alaskans don’t want it’ USA does not want it. Only a few uneducated Wasilly’s want it.
            Pebble is dead.

  5. She was bought by Donlin Mine before she left the Alaska legislature.

    She has stock shares in Calista is my guess. Wouldn’t that make for a conflict of interest, backing Calistas Donlin Mine?

    Either way she lost a ton of Native support on the Donlin reversal… That’s a loss of her hometown base support…. Guess Mary doesn’t believe that your word is the only currency a politician really has with their constituents.

    • “… in the wrong location.”

      Funny that. Last time I checked, mines have to be located where the minable ore is at, and the mining operation at that location has to be feasible. Where do you suggest the ore from the Pebble location be mined from instead?

      Pebble is the right mine in the right location otherwise those proposing to mine there would have expended their investigatory resources and regulatory-cost resources at a different location.

  6. I hope everyone who voted for her are happy that she is vociferously against Alaska, and in this case, is for the Seattle fishermen.

  7. LOL, and her commercials espouse that she has brought new high paying jobs to the State, not from where i sit. its all a lie!!!!!!

  8. No surprise here, the Anti Development Democrat is at it again. I saw Petulant at a group meeting of all the candidates during the last election cycle. Petulant by far was the most disconnected when answering the same questions that were asked of all the candidates. We as Alaskans have to run this fraud out of office. We cannot let RCV determine the outcome. That said Nancy D stop your run for office. All you will accomplish is Petulant returning to D.C., if that becomes a reality, Nancy you are done politically in Alaska.

  9. Geez Blaine, you may get a marriage proposal from old Peltola. She’s looking. You could be Number Six. The question is…….
    Can you support her? Probably not, on your government job and on your Left-wing handouts.
    But I’m sure she would consider it, since you are also a brainwashed, Marxist ideologue.

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