Pebble mine project wins one in Congress

WASHINGTON — Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive in the face of warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency that it could devastate the finest run of wild salmon left on the globe.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing a bill to keep the EPA from blocking the mine, despite opposition from Washington state lawmakers who say the project could be devastating to the fishing industry in their state.The mine developer, Northern Dynasty Minerals, is suing the EPA, seeking an injunction to prevent the agency from moving to stop the project.

The developer is in trouble. Mining giants Anglo American and Rio Tinto pulled out of the project in the midst of the controversy, leaving Northern Dynasty scrambling for another partner to provide financial support for the mine. Getting the EPA to back off would help.

After a long series of setbacks, the mine won a small victory Wednesday when the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bill for a vote in the full House.

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