Obama tightens environmental noose around resource-rich Alaska – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – December 17, 2014)
Will the president’s permanent ban on oil & gas development in Alaska’s Bristol Bay weaken Northern Dynasty’s chances for Pebble project approval?
RENO (MINEWEB) – Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier told Mineweb Tuesday that the decision by President Barack Obana to indefinitely withdraw more than 52,000 square miles of waters off Alaska’s coastline (including Bristol Bay) from oil and gas exploration or drilling “doesn’t apply to us at all”.
In a video release from the White House, Obama called Bristol Bay one of the country’s great natural resources, which is “something too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder”.
“It supports about $2 billion in the commercial fishing industry,” he said. “It supplies America with 40% of its wild-caught seafood.” Bristol Bay also hosts one of the world’s largest wild salmon runs and is home to threatened species and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.
However, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and the incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, “I think we all recognize that these are some of our state’s richest fishing waters. What I do not understand is why this decision could not be made within the context of the administration’s upcoming plan for offshore leasing—or least announced at the same time.” Read the rest of this entry »