Nov. 15, 2012
To the editor:
As a commercial fisherman who fishes in Bristol Bay, I am naturally concerned about the potential impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine on Bristol Bay’s vibrant fishery. I recently read John Shively’s commentary regarding the Keystone meetings to review the Pebble environmental baseline documents and have a few questions in return.
I agree that data related to Pebble should be open, and I appreciate the effort. However, I feel that Pebble is disingenuous to say that the Keystone process was truly transparent and independent.
While the panelists Mr. Shively spoke of were not paid, the Keystone center itself was paid — presumably a large sum of money. More importantly, as I understand it, those panelists all complained that they could not truly access all the data because it was in a locked format and only covered several years. This leads me to believe that the process is not as transparent as Pebble portrays.
Pebble continues to claim there is no mine plan, but I know plans are on file with both the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. If those plans are good enough for those agencies, they should be sufficient to have an honest conversation about the potential impacts of Pebble on Bristol Bay.
In light of these issues and more, I am not convinced that Pebble is acting in good faith. Personally, I trust the process undertaken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is acting at the request of Bristol Bay tribes, commercial fishermen and sportsmen and is truly the neutral, independent party.