Local tribes, commercial fishermen and sportsmen are surprised that members of Congress seem to be falling for Pebble’s expensive propaganda campaign seeking to obscure the indisputable fact that over 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents, 60 percent of Alaskans, and over 1.5 million Americans spanning the political spectrum want to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble proposal, which would be the world’s largest open pit mine.

One of Pebble’s tactics played out yesterday in Washington, D.C. where the Science, Space and Technology Committee took up the issue of Pebble’s “Cohen report” that has garnered the attention of a few congressmen and D.C. media.

“There is nothing wrong with Alaskans requesting that a government agency use their legal authority to protect our cultures, livelihoods and businesses from a foreign company who has been lying to us for a decade,” said Alannah Hurley, director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “For over 10 years, we’ve had to sit by and listen to Pebble’s empty promises that they would apply for a mine permit any day now. Finally, in the interest of some certainty for our region, we asked the EPA for help, and luckily they listened to our concerns.”

“The fact that members of the committee, the Pebble Partnership, and their allies chose to focus on a few one-off e-mails taken out of context shows that they cannot dispute the clear and independent scientific basis for EPA’s actions in Bristol Bay and their only hope is to distract from the facts,” said Nelli Williams, Alaska Director for Trout Unlimited. “If they think they can safely mine in Bristol Bay then they should stop this wasteful circus and apply for their permits and prove to us all that they will protect Alaska’s most lucrative wild salmon fishery as they claim.”

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