Written by Jen Finn
If there's one thing salesmen know, it's the abiding faith that if they say something over and over again, that it will become true (at least in terms of public perception). So it's no wonder that the Pebble Partnership has spent millions of dollars on advertising and lobbying to convince us that there is no plan to mine in Bristol Bay. Sadly, Alaska's own Governor Sean Parnell has bought in, repeating this same tired rhetoric just this week at the world-famous Boston Seafood Show which he attends to represent the state of Alaska and our seafood industry.
Let's be absolutely clear: there is both a mine plan and a permit application for water rights on the table. Publicly accessible information is out there to prove it, much of it just down the street from the Governor's house and office.
Visit the Alaska Department of Natural Resources website, where you can find plans filed by Northern Dynasty (Pebble Partnership) in which they depict massive dams and tailings impoundments. You see, state law requires a detailed project description in order to apply for water rights and receive a priority date. Since Alaska's system is based on a principal of "first in line first in right," the companies seeking to develop Pebble quickly applied for the rights to "use" water from Upper Talarik Creek and the South Fork of the Koktuli River — some of the most salmon rich headwaters of the Bristol Bay fisheries.
If that's not enough, look at the presentations ( northerndynastyminerals.com/ndm/Presentations.asp ) that the company shows to corporate investors. Slideshows are filled with braggadocio about the sheer magnitude and unprecedented size of the project. Check out filings made with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). The 2011 Wardrop Report — commissioned by these foreign mining companies — includes their own analysis about deposit estimates, mining methods, waste management and even a chapter called "mine planning." In a press release, Northern Dynasty called their mine plans "economically feasible and permittable." If the companies behind Pebble believe the Wardrop plans are factual, why shouldn't Alaskans and those responsible for upholding the nations Clean Water Act examine them as real mine plans?
For further insight just turn on your television. Slick advertisements intend to move public opinion in support of Pebble Partnership's plan to build the world's largest open-pit copper mine at the headwaters of the greatest wild salmon fishery on planet Earth. The magnitude of their ad campaign testifies to the size of their plans in Bristol Bay.
Read the full story at the Juneau Empire>>
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