The Pebble debate is a “battle for one of the riches places on earth,” the show's trailer proclaims. It's perhaps no surprise to Alaskans “this will be the biggest environmental fight of this century for Alaska.”
The Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of Bristol Bay found that it is the world’s most valuable wild sockeye salmon fishery; the bay produces around half of the sockeye for the entire world. However, Pebble Mine could potentially contain one of the largest concentrations of copper, gold, silver and molybdenum in the world. Pebble Partnership say the mine would create more than 1,000 high-wage, full-time jobs for 25 years.
The proposed open-pit mine would be one of the biggest of its kind in North America, according to the EPA's draft assessment. The draft also stated that even in ideal conditions, the mine would hurt salmon, a statement which has intensified the debate further.
Now "FRONTLINE" will dive into the fray. Viewers can tune in to the hour-long special Alaska Gold on July 24, at 9 p.m. on PBS, channel 7 in Anchorage.