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Pebble questions

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Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:08 am | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Nov. 14, 2012

To the editor:

I read John Shively’s opinion piece, “Understanding Pebble is essential: Keystone process is independent, useful,” with interest.

As a commercial fisherman who’s been harvesting Bristol Bay salmon since the 1970s, I know firsthand what’s at stake when it comes to Bristol Bay’s jobs, economy and productive fish and wildlife habitat.

Shively’s notion that all is transparent and open with Pebble’s science data and its Keystone process is remarkable. That’s certainly not what state and federal officials felt about dealings with Pebble in recent years, according to stories earlier this year. In fact, state and federal officials they said were frustrated at not receiving requested material from the Pebble Limited Partnership.

“The current process is beneficial to Pebble Partners. However, the process is not beneficial to the agencies,” read one line from the minutes of a meeting.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist wrote in an email to co-workers that a technical working group involving Pebble is a “huge time sink” and “does not seem like a good use of our time.”

Folks have also seen some of the Keystone video that Shively references in his opinion piece, and there were a fair number of uncomfortable silences and pauses when it was time for Pebble’s own folks to answer basic questions from the audience about impacts the exploratory drilling may already be having.

But the bottom line is this: All of Pebble’s pages of documents and data still don’t answer some of the most important questions, like how on earth is Pebble going to contain, treat, and monitor 10 billion tons of mine waste forever.

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