The Compass piece written by Rep. Andy Josephson (Monday) was very informative as to the challenges faced by Alaska in developing the Pebble mine prospect. The potential for substantial economic benefits to the state is often questioned, as well as the certainty of environmental calamity. That debate will continue and intensify if and when the Pebble Partnership submits a mining plan to DNR.
The focus to date has been on the immense open pit mine and its potential impacts on wild salmon. There has been little discussion of the entire project. To fully exploit the mineral wealth of the Pebble prospect, several huge infrastructure investments must be made.
A deep-water port needs to be located, financed and built. From that port, a 98-mile road or perhaps a pipeline supported by a road needs to be located, financed and built. Then there is the electricity to power the development. Where will that come from? And who is going to finance the construction and operation of these facilities?
I think Alaskans need to know.
— Pete Panarese