There are no guarantees in life. Even if you despise the green movement for some reasons, you may find yourself working with environmentalists to protect your own backyard.

Several Alaska-based groups continue to fight Pebble Mine, including savebristolbay.org.Such is the case with some of the opponents of Pebble Mine.

A Wall Street Journal article last week was yet another attempt to damn the process at EPA by clutching pearls at the idea that an environmental activist was involved in fighting Pebble Mine at the early stages.

“Where is the transparency?” the mine’s defenders ask, and rightly so. While I admit that this is not a shocking development, it presents evidence contrary to EPA’s claim that they were merely responding to the requests of Native tribes and local fishermen.

I’ve talked to people in those groups, and I can say without a shred of doubt that they want to keep Pebble Mine far away from their livelihood and source of subsistence for all the right reasons (that is, not political ones).

But if EPA has been lacking transparency, they ought to have their feet held to the fire on this point. What they should not be demonized for is the claim that the mine owners were overlooked and ignored when EPA came knocking.

The pro-Pebble people would have us believe EPA shut them down before they had the chance to file a plan. And yet, they spent more than a decade pouring resources into the idea of building this mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. What were they doing for those 10 years? Research, development, marketing. All without a plan? Does that seem like the kind of business blunder a multibillion-dollar mining company would make?

You can only legitimately complain so long that EPA blocked you before you could file a plan before you actually file a plan. We are going on the second decade. How long does it take?

So go for it, Pebble. File your plan. Have your say.

Or is it possible that the bigger priority is to prolong the legal fight until the whole region is so bankrupt they won’t be able to fight anymore?

Maybe sometimes environmental activists are the bad guys, the ill-informed. (See: Oceana’s fleet of interns crafting off-base PR at an alarming rate.) And maybe sometimes the international mining companies who have no stake in the local culture, longevity of the region’s most significant source of employment and subsistence are actually rapacious industrialists.

Maybe. Sometimes.

Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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