Statement on Senator Begich's Position

PLP issued the following statement regarding the announcement by U.S. Senator Mark Begich that he has come out against the Pebble Project.

“We are disappointed that Senator Begich has come out against thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions in state revenue, and potentially billions in economic activity for Alaska. We also are stunned that an Alaskan Senator supports the EPA — a federal agency acting unilaterally — to make decisions about future development on state land in Alaska. Finally, it is no secret that there is a substantial difference of opinion regarding the science of EPA’s recent Bristol Bay Assessment. Not many Alaskans think EPA is impartial. There is a process required by statute for resolving such scientific differences of opinion — the 404 permit process and NEPA EIS process. Today's announcement by the Senator helps those trying to keep us from using that statutory process which includes active state participation. There is no environmental harm whatsoever that will be caused by allowing Pebble into that process.

“An analysis by the Lake and Peninsula Borough estimated that Pebble’s exploration activity alone accounted for nearly 25% of the jobs in the Borough. There remain many who support a fair evaluation of the economic potential of this project via a fair and science based permitting process.”