Lower 48 senators oppose Pebble Mine

ANCHORAGE – Senators from the Lower 48 are concerned the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay will have a negative impact on the commercial fishing industry.

Five U.S. Senators—Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Patty Murray (D-WA)—sent a letter to President Obama on Monday.

They cite the EPA’s recent Watershed Assessment of the proposed mine saying it would destroy the salmon habitat.

“If anyone doubts the devastating impacts of losing salmon fisheries, they need look no further than California. In 2008 and 2009, California’s salmon fishing industry lost thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars, due to a catastrophic drop in salmon populations,” states the letter.

Pebble Partnership C.E.O. John Shively said while fishing is an important industry to Alaska, so is mining. He said taxes on the Pebble Mine would bring in more revenue to the state than commercial fishing does.

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