New EPA recommendation will devastate Alaska’s Pebble Mine

The heavy hand of President Joe Biden’s government is about to regulate Alaska’s Pebble Mine to death, according to a report from the Daily Caller. 

The mine is located in southwestern Alaska, where there is a substantial Pebble deposit. Those behind the project are looking to mine the area in order to extract the ore.

Experts believe that the project could generate billions in revenue.

But, in the view of some – including the Biden administration – there is a problem with this project, namely, that the waste from the mining would be disposed of in the nearby Bristol Bay, which would have a negative effect on the environment, including its wildlife.

The EPA’s recommendation

It is for this reason that the Biden administration’s EPA is looking to put a stop to Alaska’s Pebble Mine.

The EPA reports:

On December 1, 2022, EPA Region 10 Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller transmitted to EPA’s Office of Water Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox, a Clean Water Act Section 404(c) Recommended Determination to prohibit and restrict the use of certain waters in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed as disposal sites for certain discharges of dredged or fill material associated with developing the Pebble Deposit.

The EPA, chiefly, takes issue with the mining’s “adverse effects on salmon fishery areas in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds of Bristol Bay.”

Sixkiller explained that if the EPA recommendation is affirmed . . .

. . . [it] would help protect salmon fishery areas that support world-class commercial and recreational fisheries and that have sustained Alaska Native communities for thousands of years, supporting a subsistence-based way of life for one of the last intact wild salmon-based cultures in the world.

The tradeoff, of course, would be no mining and thus no ore.

A twist

There is a dispute about the effect that the mining would have on the salmon.

Some reports, including one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, suggest that the mining “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”

With this in mind, it is worth noting that in putting an end to the Pebble Mine, the Biden administration is actually working against its own interests in renewable energy.

The Daily Caller reports:

Pebble Mine is home to an estimated 80.6 billion lbs of copper deposits and 5.6 billion lbs of molybdenum, according to the Pebble Partnership’s website. Copper is highly conductive and is used to power solar panels, while molybdenum is used to construct geothermal energy facilities.

The surprising conclusion of Biden’s EPA thus appears to be that Alaska’s Bristol Bay salmon – which may or may not be affected by the mining – are more important than its green energy agenda.

Latest News