The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recommended that operators of the Pebble Mine in Southwestern Alaska not dispose of any waste material in Bristol Bay. This would prohibit the mine’s opening. The mine could still generate billions of dollars by producing minerals crucial to the “clean energy transition” promoted by the Biden administration.
According to a Thursday agency proposal, the EPA stated that Pebble Mine’s possible waste discharges would pose a threat to nearby sockeye salmon fisheries. This would pollute the water and prevent the fish from reproducing. According to Northern Dynasty Minerals’ report, the mine’s owners, the mine could extract more than 1.5 billion tonnes of copper, molybdenum, and other crucial minerals. It could also deliver more $8 billion to Southwestern Alaska.
In its July 2020 final environmental impact statement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded that Pebble Mine would not have any “measurable effect on fish populations or result in long-term changes in the health of commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.” The EPA however stated that mining waste would cause the loss of all aquatic habitats essential to the survival of the sockeye salmon.
In a statement to the DCNF, John Shively, CEO of PLP stated that EPA was not only taking substantial tax and royalties away from Alaskan citizens but also taking away contributions and dividends to the Permanent Fund. “EPA also fails to recognize the crucial role that copper will play in our nation’s transition to renewable power sources.
According to the Pebble Partnership’s website, Pebble Mine contains an estimated 80.6 billion pounds of copper deposits and 5.6 million lbs molybdenum. Copper is highlyconductive and can be used to power solar panels. Molybdenum, on the other hand, is used for construction of geothermal energy facilities.
According to the report, the project could bring in $1.7 billion in state taxes and $1.4 billion in federal taxes. The operator will pay both the governments royalties for the right to extract precious metals over a period of 20 years. Business Insider estimates that the mine holds more than 107 millions ounces gold. This is worth approximately $1,797.45 per ounce.
According to a White House factsheet, President Joe Biden hopes to produce all of the country’s electricity from renewable energy by 2035. This is an increase from 40% in 2020. Biden invoked The Defense Production Act (a Cold War Era law) in March to help shore up the country’s renewable energy technology supply chain, which China and other hostile countries have controlled for years.