Alaska Beat

AK Beat: Billionaire mining investor says Pebble "will not be built"

Mining investor declares Pebble dead: Pebble Mine will not be built, or so says a billionaire mining investor. At a conference in Vancouver Wednesday Robert Friedland said that "The United States Environmental Protection Agency has just killed the Pebble Mine in Alaska. It will not be built," reported industry site Friedland is the founder and chair of Ivanhoe Mines, a Canadian mining company. The news comes, though, with a fairly significant caveat, as notes: "Friedland… made the assertion while touting his company's development of the high-grade Kamoa copper deposit, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo."

Old ship logbooks shed new light on historic sea ice extent: Sea ice covered much more water between Canada and Greenland 250 years ago, a new study finds. But unlike other studies, the Scientific American reports, this one is based not on evidence found in the environment, but evidence written down. Researchers with the British-based project ARCdoc examined about 150 logbooks from that nation's naval expeditions and Hudson's Bay Company ships that sailed the waters between 1750 and 1850, cataloging data from notes made on snow, ice, rain, wind and water conditions, an undertaking that "required a crash course in venerable maritime argot," The Scientific American reports. "The sequence of data points, called a time series, revealed region-wide decadal changes in wind circulation, storm frequency and intensity, and precipitation. And, around 1800, a major shift in storm strength brought more blizzards and ice cover for the next 40 years. Baffin Bay and Davis Strait saw greater expanses of sea ice and bigger swings in weather patterns than scientists had assumed."

Offshore drilling viewed favorably: A substantial majority of Americans support offshore oil drilling and think the federal government could be doing more to promote production of U.S. oil, according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas industry trade association, reports Fuel Fix. The poll, which surveyed 1,000 registered voters, found 68 percent support offshore drilling and would vote for a candidate who supported it. The news comes as the government has approved seismic testing to look for oil and gas in Atlantic Ocean waters off the populous East Coast, and with industry groups, including API, pushing for leases in the Atlantic, as the administration prepares its next round of lease sales.