I can’t help commenting on the latest pamphlet from the Pebble “Partnership” titled “A Clear Path Forward” — “clear” is nice and “forward” is politically correct, and it is one up on the last year’s “A New Path Forward.” This year, they had the sense not to include last year’s fine print that removed the guarantees that whatever Pebble was saying was actually accurate.
The new brochure, however, with no fine print, seems to include a bit of an unintentional but revealing “Freudian slip” in its advertising layout — the upper pages contain clean clear pictures, along with promises of benefits and environment protections; however, the lower pages (while also full of claims of increased revenue, employment, education and assurances for no negative fish impacts from “tailings release scenarios evaluated,” and promises of best industry practices) are printed onto a landscape view shrouded in murky darkness. Is this an unintended view of the either-or choices faced by Bristol Bay residents and Alaskans in general — clear or murky?
While mentally absorbing the driving impatience to get this project going, one must seriously consider if Pebble can physically back up its claims in real-time and whether taking that risk is worth it with such a large fishing industry at stake. Assurances from Pebble seem quite thin. Maybe there are alternate areas that can be more safely mined with today’s technology. Are reports of rare-earth-rich nodules on the Pacific seafloor off the coast of California accurate? Pebble needs to be renamed Boulder.
— Ken Green
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