Walker Wrong on Permitting Process

Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier issued the following statement to the announcement from Governor Walker seeking to suspend the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process being administered by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“The governor has said we have a high bar to demonstrate how we can mine and protect the salmon in the area around Pebble. It is this Corps Environmental Impact Statement process that will give Alaskans answers and assurance to this very issue. We believe we can successfully and responsibly operate a mine at Pebble. This is what the Corps will evaluate and we can either meet this expectation or we cannot.

“The scoping process for Pebble has just concluded and we look forward to reviewing the scoping report outlining the many issues that the Corps will review in their evaluation of Pebble.

“We find it incredibly disappointing that the governor’s request to suspend the NEPA process is nearly identical to that brought forward by the anti-Alaska, anti-development Natural Resources Defense Council. We expect this type of stall tactic from ENGOs opposed to any kind of development but not from the Governor of Alaska and especially when the project is on Alaska land. Frankly, the governor does not make a compelling case to suspend the NEPA process.

“It is this type of behavior that makes many in the global investment community reluctant to invest in Alaska. Alaska is consistently ranked very high for our resource potential yet we continue to score poorly on political and permitting stability, frequently showing up with jurisdictions that have very little regard for the rule of law.

“Pebble is located on state land and as such is a potentially important asset for Alaska’s economic future. Pebble could provide jobs, revenue, and economic activity for the region and the rest of the state. As such, it must be thoroughly evaluated. We believe our technical and environmental work can meet Alaska’s standards for development and when we do that we can put thousands to work.

“We know that that vast majority of Alaskans, regardless of their views about our project, support the rule of law and a fair process for reviewing Pebble. The Governor of Alaska should believe in this process too.”