I haven’t seen mentioned in the Pebble mine discussion the possible effect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement on the ability of the state of Alaska and the federal government to regulate the mine and mining practices. Although the actual contents of the TPP are shrouded in secrecy, it is clear that the protection for foreign companies to not lose value in their holdings due to local regulation is one of the things being written into the agreement.
From YES! Magazine Nov. 28, 2012:
“The investor rules would elevate individual foreign firms and investors to the same status as the sovereign nations that would be party to the TPP. Corporations and investors would be empowered to privately enforce the agreement by suing a signatory government before the World Bank and other foreign tribunals. In this ‘investor-state dispute resolution,’ three private-sector lawyers, who rotate between suing governments and acting as ‘judges,’ could order governments to pay large amounts of our tax dollars to investors who do not want to follow the same laws as domestic firms.”
— Rob Mankoff