Opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay is growing to the point that one has to wonder who — outside of the mining companies — could still support the idea of an open-pit mine that would endanger a pristine watershed where tens of millions of salmon spawn
Anglo American, the London-based multinational powerhouse behind the project, says it can extract the minerals safely. But historically the mining industry has done a sloppy job of protecting the environment. Mining residues, like sulfide-laced rock, are toxic. No matter how hard the company tries to sequester them — it proposes to build a 740-foot-high dam to contain the waste — an earthquake or other disturbance can jar them loose.
The ads, paid for by the Renewable Resources Coalition, an anti-Pebble nonprofit in Anchorage, are already running in some Alaska magazines and are pegged to run on statewide TV later this year.
Eventually, conservation groups hope to target a national audience with the "Deadliest Catch" ads, said Lindsay Bloom, who works for Trout Unlimited, another nonprofit group that opposes Pebble. Bloom, a Bristol Bay commercial fisherman, set up the ad shoot.
The last two decades have shown that profits are high on the oil industry's list of priorities, while safety measures are implemented only if a strong-willed public insists upon them.
… A recent report by the Marine Conservation Alliance showed the seafood industry remains Alaska's largest private sector employer, generating 56,600 direct and 22,000 indirect jobs annually — more than the oil and gas and mining industries combined.
Excerpts: Yet the Exxon Valdez still sends a powerful cautionary message: oil development, however necessary, is an inherently risky, dirty business — especially so in the forbidding waters of the Arctic.
On April 17, a federal court ruling vacated a Bush-era 5-year drilling plan for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The court ruling came shortly after a decision by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to put the brakes on another 5-year offshore drilling program that had been pushed through in the final days of the Bush administration.
Today is a big day in Anchorage. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is in town to gather input to inform his agency’s decisions about opening the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to energy development. Anchorage is home base to many major oil companies that operate on Alaska’s North Slope, so we expect a big turnout from both pro-development interests as well as those who are concerned about the environmental impacts of oil development in Alaska’s pristine waters.