Peltola won’t join delegation in support of Ambler Road

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U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, recently sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland reiterating their strong support for the Ambler Access Project (Ambler Road).

But Alaska’s Congresswoman Mary Peltola would not sign the letter, even though when she was running for office earlier this year, she said in a media survey that she would support the road, stating “Yes, pending local support, usage restrictions, and environmental standards are met.”

Peltola, who is finishing out the term of the late Congressman Don Young, is now running for the two-year seat and her name will be on the Nov. 8 ballot, along with Nick Begich, Sarah Palin, and Chris Bye.

The senators called on the Department of the Interior to promptly complete its work to re-approve the Ambler Road following DOI’s request for a voluntary remand of the project’s Record of Decision. Murkowski and Sullivan specifically urged Interior to commit to a concrete timeline, allow the project proponent to continue important baseline scientific work, and allow geotechnical drilling to proceed.

The senators also reiterated that failure to satisfy the court’s remand order in a timely and narrow manner would defy federal law, prevent hardworking Alaskans from accessing jobs that support their families at a time of painfully high inflation, and worsen projected shortfalls of strategic minerals and metals that are crucial to clean energy and many other technologies.

“This Congressionally-mandated access is essential to ensuring the economic stability of both Alaska and the nation. In Alaska alone, the Project has the potential to facilitate over 8,700 direct, indirect, and induced construction and operation jobs and nearly $700 million in annual wages. That would be top of an annual average of 360 direct jobs over the road’s construction period, and up to 81 direct annual jobs for road operations and maintenance over the life of the road.”

“Given assurances that the remand would be “timely” and given the importance of the Project to Alaska and national security, we are concerned that DOI’s first status report, filed with the Court on July 18, 2022, indicated the Department was “not yet able to identify a timeframe for completion of a draft and final supplemental environmental impact statement.” We anecdotally understand that the timeframe could be up to three years, which is categorically unacceptable and deeply contrary to every reasonable expectation for how the voluntary remand would proceed.

“Given the seven years of cooperation between all applicable federal agencies, the comprehensive [Joint Record of Decision], and the Congressionally-recognized importance of completing the Project on an expedited basis, we urge you to take the necessary steps to move the Project forward and complete the voluntary remand in a timely, workable, and definitive timeframe. Otherwise, DOI will jeopardize economic and national security by increasing our reliance on adversaries like China for those strategic minerals necessary for our defense, competitiveness, and future prosperity.”

The Ambler Road would provide access to mining district and facilitate the responsible development of high-grade mineral deposits—including copper, cobalt, zinc, silver, gold, and other metals—in northwest Alaska. A right-of-way across federal land is guaranteed by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). These critical minerals are crucial to all aspects of modern technology and national security and will help prevent the shortfalls that S&P Global, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and others have forecast in recent months. 

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority initially submitted its application to develop the 211-mile Ambler Road project in November 2015, making this the seventh full year of federal regulatory review. The Bureau of Land Management published a draft EIS on August 30, 2019 and held 22 public meetings in local communities, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Washington, DC prior to issuing a favorable ROD in July 2020.

Despite that, the Biden administration sought and won approval to voluntarily remand the ROD on February 22, 2022. With no apparent sense of irony, President Biden held a roundtable on “Securing Critical Minerals for a Future Made in America” that very same day—failing to recognize that the Ambler Mining District is one of the nation’s best options to produce them. 

On Sept. 20, 2022, BLM initiated a 45-day public scoping process for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Ambler Road project. BLM’s notice of intent states that the agency will evaluate a “range of alternatives” related to a range of topics but provides no timeframe for the completion of this additional review.

59 COMMENTS

    • Peltola’s been in office for a week and her new campaign ads already show that she is an abject liar. Her true interests are not on development, unless it benefits Natives only. This woman has racism in her heart. Pro-development White people will need to go to the back of the line, in Ms. Peltola’s universe. They will not get fair representation from a woke, Native Democrat woman who has been told her entire life that she is an oppressed person, underprivileged, and mistreated. Those kind of mischaracterizations will not fly in November 2022. They do not cut muster to the majority of clear-thinking, rational voters.

  1. Mary Peltola is a typical democrat, she will be Nancy’s little project to turn Alaska “blue”, she wasn’t elected to shit. Poor judgement or fixed dominion machines placed her in this position. The governor has not responded to any e-mails about the dominion issue.

  2. “…….she would support the road, stating ‘Yes, pending local support, usage restrictions, and environmental standards are met.’……..”
    ‘Local support’ will never occur. She knew that when she made that statement, and everybody in this state knows that ‘local support’ will never happen. Moreover, we already have a state full of roads with ‘usage restrictions’ to the benefit of the ‘locals’ who she needs the ‘support’ from, and we don’t need to produce money to build any more. A public road needs to be a public road. Period.

    • Actually there is local support. The opposition is very thin. There are two writers who oppose the road, Seth Kantner, who wrote his first novel, Ordinary Wolves, which I recommend reading, and a buddy of his who lives in FL (cannot remember his name). There is a brother and sister who inherited a lodge some distance (20 miles?) from the proposed road, and there are perhaps 12 villagers who spend most of the year in southern CA. There is a hunting guide and tribal member who has been an executive with Tanana Chiefs. Apart from the usual environmental groups based in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and especially CA, that is all the opposition. The overwhelming local input has been largely supportive.

      • Kayak, the opposition is much more than that – the public scoping meetings brought that out. The State and AIDEA had a golden opportunity to establish a protocol for working with Sovereign Tribes to build roads in Tribal areas for the benefit of both. Bill Walker blew it big time with both the Ambler Road and the Klutina road. I live in one of those affected villages – the people are about evenly divided on road access, but universally opposed to the State forcing anything. Evenly divided means nothing gets done out of respect for your neighbor.

  3. The Ambler road is a huge mistake and the whole project should have been a railroad from Ambler and Red Dog to Fairbanks. The west coast of Alaska will never be successful without a railroad to supply economical shipping.

    • Red Dog is not a deep water port, and shipping there is only seasonal! That is a very difficult situation even for the one zinc mine. The Ambler Mining District might be ten Red Dogs.

    • The more sensible alternative was choice “C” – Ambler to the Dalton near the bridge by way of the Ray Mountains rare earth minerals deposits and on to Fairbanks. The BLM is doing everything they can to stop any thought of developing the Rays.

  4. Socialist Democrats only want to destroy the United States. These traitors have managed to damage US energy production/development. They’ve managed to make crime much, much worse in every city under Democrat control. They’ve managed to grow the US deficit by trillions of dollars. They’ve made the US Dollar worth a lot less. They’ve managed to damage the value of the US stock market- making everything from the Alaska Permanent Fund worth less (by billions) to the ordinary retirement accounts of Americans. They allow open borders and ‘sanctuary cities” and millions of illegal immigrants have come in, many with criminal records, many with infectious diseases.

    Vote Palin- Begich, Or Begich- Palin.

    The majority of Alaskans are not socialists, and we can not be represented by a socialist. We don’t have to stand for this nonsense.

  5. Madam Editor had us at “cobalt”.
    .
    Our guess is China Bill Walker’s people made it known they don’t want the rare-earth mining competition until they can own it.
    .
    Maybe from Peltola’s perspective, it’s more problematic that an economic engine that big could get locals thinking about financial independence, joining the twenty-first century on their own terms, maybe even ditching the soft tyranny of low expectations perpetuated on them by democrat socialism, making it really hard for governments at all levels to control them.

    • “Her people” are the Natives in the Bush. A very clear minority. Peltola is only a tool of the Democrats for a temporary stay in Congress. She does not represent any thing close to the majority of Alaskans. She represents the whiners, complainers, the do-nothings, and the free-riders who live off of public money. Peltola won’t be in office by January 2023. It will be Nick Begich or Sarah Palin as Republicans rank the red on November.

    • I had to think hard about your comments but I think you make a point. “Her people” are long self-maligned and abused with so many reasons not to lift themselves out of poverty. Its well time that we stop championing people because they are the first of their kind (black, female, native, immigrant) and hold them up because of their accomplishments. Peltola has done good things but she lost me with her vote on the Ambler Road.
      My last thought is that its time that the natives wake up and get what they can out of their land before its unrecognizable due to climate change. Saying no to progress is not going to save “her people” from poverty.

    • I agree, The foreign owners will bring in they’er own subcontractors with specialized equipment and will only operate in the summer plus Alaska can’t fill the existing jobs now through out the state.

      People need to read and study the Ambler plan and disclaimer before making comments.

  6. Surprised?

    This is what you voted for Alaska. You ran two inferior “Republicans” who spent most of their time bitching about one while the other was out of state getting her picture taken.

    Neither actively encouraged ranking red. Palin activity pushed against it and voted for Mary.

    this is what we deserve. We worked hard to get here.

  7. This is the litmus test for Congresswoman Peltola’s stand on Alaska resource development. If Ambler continues to stall then Alaska will not participate in electric vehicles, green energy, etc. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that if Ambler continues to stall then so far as mineral extraction America will not participate in electric vehicles, green energy, etc. Canada will do it, and do it first.

    It’s also not too much of a stretch to say that we can now see that if Congresswoman Peltola wins in October then the Ambler Mining District will be put behind similar efforts in other parts of the world. The two year period when Peltola and Biden would be able to hold up Ambler would be sufficient to allow some of the same developers spending money in Ambler now to shift their investments to alternative sites.

    This is one of the implications inherent in continuing the dispute and rivalry between Palin and Begich. There are many more similar implications, and one of them is North Slope oil. Will neither of them step aside to do what’s right for Alaska?

  8. There’s a lot I don’t know about her, what’s her stance on guns? On abortion? Other development like the King Cove road? I like her so far and wished she was republican but taking a stance against the Ambler road? No, doesn’t work for me. Palin still has my vote, pro development, pro Alaska, Pro 2a, there’s no one else that doesn’t have a padlock on the state.

    • Peltola is highly pro-abortion. Which is weird considering she went through the trouble of giving birth 4 times. My guess is, at least by her language, she regrets that decision. Also, look at her past record, it’s easy to see that she is not pro-development for western Alaska.

    • She has 6 sons & stepsons and well over 100 guns in her house. Her husband Buzzy is a trophy hunter.
      She has come out for ‘Willow’ and worked for Donlin Gold.
      Very disappointed in this, although I have read Seth Kanter & respect him, he was raised in the wilderness by hippies & understandably wants to protect that.
      Many see Ambler as access to “the country” for city folks & that scares them, but we need it & America needs it. Once the road is in, it will help that corner of AK very much and they will see it as a good thing.
      The problem (as always) is getting around the Sierra Club & the rural Alaskans that they brain wash.

    • I like Mary Peltola as a person but she is going to be drawn by the bush caucus to do the tribal thing. I am a republican and will vote the red line but wish she would do right for all Alaskans, Its just not going to work for me either. Palin is too drifty and rubs me wrong in too many ways. I guess Nick will win my vote. He needs to be more up front and vocal about what he will do for Alaska and do it soon.

      • Alaska is for everyone who wants to live here, not just the Natives in the Bush who see Whites as trespassers, but love all the technical goodies and play toys that Whites invent and give to the Natives. And this is not a racist comment.

  9. Peltola worked for Donlin Mine and voted to end the Public Pensions in Alaska. The Ambler Mine is a battle between Doyon ( where most of the road travels ) and NANA ( where the Mine is located ). The problem is how much will Doyon get from the Mine. Everyone will be onboard once that gets settled. Mary will be for the Mine when Doyon says yes. Mary supports the crucial Willow project. Disrespecting the Nuiqsut Mayor gets you nowhere. She may have her facts wrong but needs to be pulled in the right direction.

  10. Ambler Mine is foreign owned, Trilogy Metals from Vancouver Canada and South32 Limited from Perth Austrailia will run away with the minerals and the money leaving Alaska with nothing.
    Like British Columbia’s Mt Polley mine and the 2014 Dam breach Disaster, cannot be forced to compensate, just read they’er Legal Disclaimer.

  11. Can’t believe she did this .. was gonna rank her 3rd. Not now.
    Even Mark Begich would probably be behind Ambler Road.
    IT”S A MINING DISTRICT!

  12. Peltola is Alaska’s gift to Pelosi. Caucusing with Pelosi is bad news for Alaska. Don’t be fooled. Behind her smile and nice demeanor is a rabid environmentalist. With only one Rep in the House, we need to pick the smartest and hardworking candidate. I think that is NB3 (Nick Begich) is the best bet for
    Alaska. Support Begich.

  13. I think the reason many voters chose Nick first and Peltola second was not about political party, but that they thought she would be supportive of her state and not a political pawn. And the best interests of all Alaskans is responsible mineral development. I am not a Democrat in any form and did not rank her, but it appears that she won this round and has a good chance of winning the second under the new system. I still hold out hope that she will be a disappointment to Pelosi, and vote with her convictions, for the most part. At least she does own a lot of guns. And she has seen for years how depressing it is to depend on the government handouts for survival. Let’s at least see what happens, she seems like a smart woman. Maybe we could have a pleasant surprise. Who knows?

    • I wouldn’t hold my breath on that. Peltola is a liar, plain and simple. She’ll caucus with her fellow Leftists and we can kiss responsible resource development goodbye.

      She knows what side her bread is buttered and who is holding the butter knife.

  14. A Vote for Palin is a vote for Peltola for 2 more years. Alaska needs roads to resources, lines to mines and prosperity. If Peltola cannot support the Ambler Road which brings essential services and lower-cost goods to interior villages while supporting Alaska’s economy, she is ineligible to serve as our Congressional representative.

    Unfortunately, Palin is unelectable (fill in the blank–despised, hated, quitter, self-serving, backstabber) and anyone who votes for her ensures a Peltola win. The Primary Election outcome already proved it, and now the result is “our” Congressional representative that does not support the Ambler Road.
    Elections have consequences, and now it is proven that a vote for Palin is a vote for Peltola.

    • Real R friends do not let friends vote for Palin. Palin backstabbed Ketchikan conservatives with their roads and bridges initiative. Perhaps you missed that chapter? She simply cannot obtain enough 1st and 2nd ranked votes from Alaska. Call it Alaska “beer” Math, but you can do the math. The primary election proved that many folks cannot vote for Palin with her pathetic track record. Conclusion. either you vote for Begich or YOU deserve Petolta. You might not like the taste of the beer, but you get what you ordered.

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