Daily DrakePebble

PebbleBruce C. Switzer is the former head of environmental affairs for Cominco Ltd.—the company that sold Pebble Mine to Northern Dynasty for “peanuts” in 2001, citing environmental worries and the low-quality ore available at the site. In his column “Compass: Pebble Can’t Work for Alaska” he details a bogus permitting process and the risks associated with this massive hole of time and monetary waste.

Via the Anchorage Daily News: “The raw natural history data Pebble recently dumped told us nothing about risk, was meaningless and a waste of our time and its money. The timid EPA effort was similarly useless. And Keystone? Read its report about the OK Tedi mine disaster, and then read about the successful Australian civil action against the mine.

“The risks are innumerable. Earthquake. Severe weather. Tailings dams fail. Pipelines rupture. Acid mine drainage is not always contained. Cyanide will be used. Mercury will be released from gold roasting and contaminate downwind streams. There will be accidents like a truckload of cyanide into a creek. There will be spills at the port. Culverts will be blocked. Mining is messy.

“The benefits are singular. Jobs. Unlike Red Dog, Pebble is not contractually obligated to hire anyone. However many workers it might actually hire, does anyone believe Anglo will invest $6 billion to $7 billion and then hire inexperienced people? Workers, especially in the higher paying jobs, will come from out of state, management from outside the country. Twenty percent of Red Dog workers still come from out of state.”

UPDATE: The revised Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment came out on Friday and the public has until May 31 to generate a ton of comment. TU’s Save Bristol Bay Campaign is urging all anglers to weigh in. More, here.

 

Tom Bie

Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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