USACOE denies permit to Pebble Mine!

Zak

WFF Supporter

By Henry Fountain
  • Nov. 25, 2020Updated 1:48 p.m. ET

The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, likely dealing a death blow to the long-disputed project.
In a statement, the Army Corps said it “determined that the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest.”
The decision, the agency said, “reflects a regulatory process that is fair, flexible and balanced.”
The decision on the proposed gold and copper mine in a remote part of Southwest Alaska is a victory for Native groups, environmentalists, the state’s fishing industry and others who opposed the project.
Opponents said the large open-pit operation, which would dig up and process tens of millions of tons of rock a year, would irreversibly harm breeding grounds for salmon that are the basis for a sports-fishing industry and a large commercial fishery in nearby Bristol Bay. Salmon are also a major subsistence food of Alaska Natives in the region.

“The Corps’ denial of the permit for the Pebble Mine is a victory for common sense,” said Chris Wood, chief executive of the conservation group Trout Unlimited. “Bristol Bay is the wrong place for industrial scale mining.”
In a statement, John Shively, interim chief executive of the project’s developer, Pebble Limited Partnership, said the partnership would “focus on sorting out next steps for the project, including an appeal of the decision.”

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Mr. Shively described the Corps’ action as “politically driven,” particularly given that earlier this year the Corps had approved an environmental impact statement that, he said, “clearly stated the project could successfully co-exist with the fishery and would have provided substantial economic benefit.
In July, the Corps, which had authority to approve a permit under the federal Clean Water Act, approved an environmental impact statement on the project that said it would not permanently harm the fishing industry. But a few weeks later the Corps said that the company’s plan to compensate for environmental damage from the mine was insufficient, and requested a new mitigation plan.

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The new plan, which was not publicly released but was believed to designate land near the mine to be permanently protected, was submitted last week.
The fight over the fate of what is one of the largest deposits of copper and gold ore in the world has raged for more than a decade. The mining industry and many state officials have supported the project for the revenue and other economic benefits it would bring. But some important Alaskan politicians, notably Senator Lisa J. Murkowski, a Republican, have been noncommittal, saying the mine should go forward only if it could be shown to be environmentally sound.
The project was effectively scuttled by the Obama administration, only to be revived by the Trump White House. Under the Trump administration the Environmental Protection Agency reversed an earlier ruling, allowing the environmental review by the Corps to proceed.
But support among Republicans was never as ironclad as it has been for some other projects with potential environmental consequences, notably potential oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, also in Alaska.
The Pebble project even generated a rare dispute within the Trump family. In August, Donald Trump Jr., an avid sportsman who has fished in the Bristol Bay area, tweeted his opposition to the mine: “The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with. #PebbleMine.”
President Trump, when asked in following days about his son’s sentiments and the prospects for the project, said only that he would “look at both sides” of the issue and that politics would not play a role in any decision. Privately, however, administration officials said they expected that the permit would be approved.
But in September, the future of the multibillion dollar project appeared in doubt when secret recordings of company executives suggested that they were planning for a much larger mine, and one that would operate far longer, than what had been proposed to the Corps.

The recordings were obtained by an environmental advocacy group, with two members who were posing as potential investors in the project meeting by video with two project executives. The executives described how the mine could operate for 160 years or more beyond the proposed 20 years, and how its output could double after the first two decades.
In the fallout from the recordings, one of the executives, Tom Collier, chief executive of the Pebble Partnership, resigned.
 

O' Clarkii Stomias

Active Member
If socialists had the opportunity, they would have already laid waste to the ground, and destroyed the bristol bay fishery, all to the benefit of the central government/party.
Get fucking real! When the communists run out of other people's money, the environment suffers!
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
If socialists had the opportunity, they would have already laid waste to the ground, and destroyed the bristol bay fishery, all to the benefit of the central government/party.
Get fucking real! When the communists run out of other people's money, the environment suffers!
America is not going to become communist. Hate socialism? I guess you hate Social Security and Medicare (along with food stamps, welfare, and other social safety nets).

We could stand to take a lesson from New Zealand (following taken from a 2018 opinion piece in the Boston Globe):

Jacinda Ardern emerged unexpectedly as prime minister of New Zealand. Upon taking office, she pledged to create “a country where our environment is protected, where we look after the most vulnerable, where we support our families, where we make sure people have the most basic of needs, like a roof over their head.” One of her first and most shocking decisions was to stop issuing permits for offshore oil and gas exploration. “Transitions have to start somewhere,” she said. “We have been a world leader on critical issues to humanity by being nuclear-free. . . Now we could be world-leading in becoming carbon neutral.”

Ardern has also challenged other taboos in her country. She supports legalizing marijuana, is the first prime minister to march in a gay pride parade, and promises that women will soon make up half of her party’s caucus in Parliament. More than any of her predecessors, she has promoted the rights of the indigenous Maori people. Perhaps most provocatively, she has asserted that the homelessness problem in her country proves the “blatant failure” of capitalism. “If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive,” she reasoned, “what else could you describe it as?” New Zealanders have rewarded Ardern’s truth-telling with a 73 percent approval rating.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
If socialists had the opportunity, they would have already laid waste to the ground, and destroyed the bristol bay fishery, all to the benefit of the central government/party.
Get fucking real! When the communists run out of other people's money, the environment suffers!
Try not looking at socialist leaders who misused their power and look at the ideology itself. Ever been to a Hutterite Colony?
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
If socialists had the opportunity, they would have already laid waste to the ground, and destroyed the bristol bay fishery, all to the benefit of the central government/party.
Get fucking real! When the communists run out of other people's money, the environment suffers!
Confusing socialism with communism never lends clarity to a discussion.

Like it or not, environmental protection is a product of affluence. There are affluent socialist and capitalist (at least sorta' capitalist) countries. There are no affluent communist countries. However, as China experiments with maintaining communist government with some capitalist economics, affluence is really taking off; so we'll see how that turns out. I guess Vietnam has also gone down that path, with communist government but friendly to capital investment. I admit to having no understanding of how these work, since a planned economy has always been a cornerstone of communism.
 

dflett68

WFF Supporter
Try not looking at socialist leaders who misused their power and look at the ideology itself. Ever been to a Hutterite Colony?
Hutterite colonies are not socialist systems - they are authoritarian religious systems governed by patriarchy. A small handful of men decide everything of substance. As a communal group, their socialist practices are driven by need, not ideology. The ideology is based in strictly interpreted Biblical texts. As religious radicals in countries with state run churches, they were brutally persecuted to near extinction by both Catholic and Protestant governments - so they fled and lived in tiny communes to survive. Similar story-lines for other Anabaptist groups such as Mennonites, Amish, et. al. That was a long time ago. What they're struggling for now is a status quo based in religious authoritarianism, fear and distrust of the outside world, and sexism.

Not that there aren't pros to a communal life if it is the life you choose for yourself.
 

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
Hutterite colonies are not socialist systems - they are authoritarian religious systems governed by patriarchy. A small handful of men decide everything of substance. As a communal group, their socialist practices are driven by need, not ideology. The ideology is based in strictly interpreted Biblical texts. As religious radicals in countries with state run churches, they were brutally persecuted to near extinction by both Catholic and Protestant governments - so they fled and lived in tiny communes to survive. Similar story-lines for other Anabaptist groups such as Mennonites, Amish, et. al. That was a long time ago. What they're struggling for now is a status quo based in religious authoritarianism, fear and distrust of the outside world, and sexism.

Not that there aren't pros to a communal life if it is the life you choose for yourself.
We are surrounded by Hutterite colonies here. On one hand they are essentially large commercial farmers with a lot of land. I don't see much for environmental concerns or projects on their land and I've put eyes on a lot of it. Like simplot or agra northwest you wouldn't know a difference by looking at their fields....
 

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