Why Donlin Creek and not Pebble?

Photo courtesy NPS, Flickr, Jun. 21, 2012

On his radio show, Glen Biegel has been asking what is the difference between Donlin Creek gold mine and the Pebble Prospect. More importantly, why the extreme, over the top opposition to Pebble and crickets over Donlin Creek?

Donlin is in permitting while Pebble has been assaulted by the EPA, greens, Bristol Bay Native Corporation and local papers. Both mines are in roughly the same part of the state, with Donlin sitting on the Kuskokwim and Pebble sitting north of Lake Iliamna. Donlin is roughly one tenth the size of Pebble in terms of employment, roughly 1,500 jobs or the same size operation as the hotly opposed Chuitna coal mine near Tyonek. http://www.donlingold.com/

Biegel has wondered if the opposition is racial, as Donlin Creek is on native land while Pebble is on state land. While there is a racial component, I would suggest that it is tied to the business interests of the regional native corporations involved rather than the race of who is going to do the mining. http://www.pebblepartnership.com/

For instance, Bristol Bay Native Corporation has vociferously opposed Pebble using the excuse of protecting salmon runs in Bristol Bay. They have run a series of commercials during the fight attempting to let us know how nice, gentle and one with the land they are. Yet the very same native corporation is pursuing mining in locations down the Alaska Peninsula a bit, watersheds that also dump into Bristol Bay, putting the precious salmon at risk.

Appears to me that they are simply taking care of their business interests, shutting down a competitor because they are a competitor, doing their level best to protect future market share. Note that this has nothing to do with their concern for any fish. That concern looks to be little more than self-serving blathering. http://www.millrockresources.com/news/millrock-makes-exploration-agreeme...

We have the same thing going on with Donlin Creek, which operates in the Kuskokwim watershed. Last I checked there were also salmon into that watershed, salmon important to subsistence users. If the owners of Donlin Creek can balance those interests with nobody getting spun up, perhaps so can the Pebble Partnership.

Who is the bad actor here? Other than the EPA, the usual suspects among the greens, and those that conspired to write and promulgate the bogus Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, the worst actor has been the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, whose hypocrisy on mining is breathtaking – using their cachet as a self-identified protector of the sainted salmon in a place that always has been to shut down a competitor for a product (gold) that they intend to produce in their own mines to make their own mining profit and their own mining jobs. Their silence on Donlin Creek is breathtaking.

And they know it too; otherwise they would not be running their incessant ads.