The world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run is in grave danger. Rather than protect this precious Alaskan ecosystem, a mining corporation wants to turn it into a massive gold and copper mine. Now, we have just 96 hours to strike the final nail in the coffin of this dangerous proposal.
Following a huge SumOfUs campaign and mounting community pressure, mining giant Rio Tinto has already pulled out. Now, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is asking the public to comment on proposed restrictions that would save the salmon run and protect 14,000 Alaskan jobs.
The EPA is taking a stand despite political pressure to approve the mine, using a rarely used provision because the damage from the would be unprecedented. We need to speak out now so the EPA knows the public wants the Pebble Mine rejected, too.
Public comments close Friday, and the Alaskan elders most affected by this mine will personally deliver our comments before then. Can you add your voice to stop the Pebble Mine now?
The public overwhelmingly wants the EPA to reject Pebble Mine. In a previous comments period, 85% of Alaskans, and 73% of other Americans, supported EPA action to protect Bristol Bay. And it’s a no brainer -- the proposed Pebble Mine threatens to pollute miles of pristine streams and wetlands in and around Bristol Bay, the home of 40 million sockeye salmon. The Bay supplies nearly 50 percent of the world’s commercial sockeye, generates $480 million in annual revenue, and supports 14,000 jobs a year.
The last time we spoke out against Pebble Mine, 180,000 SumOfUs members called on mining giant Rio Tinto to pull out of the mine. Then, we helped fundraise to get Alaskan native leaders to Rio Tinto’s annual shareholder meeting in London. And Rio Tinto saw the writing on the wall, and acted! Just as the leaders arrived to make a huge media show, Rio Tinto announced that it would divest from Pebble. It was a huge win for SumOfUs, our friends at Earthworks, and especially the Alaskan communities most affected by the mine. The mining giant’s divestment sent the prospects of the mine crashing -- and weakened the ability of the Pebble Mine owners to put pressure on the EPA to give them the go-ahead.
The EPA wants to do the right thing, despite Republican backlash against its proposal. We can’t let the EPA waver in its commitment to protect the mine. That means we need to speak out now to give the EPA the political support it needs to reject the mine.
Take action to ask the EPA to reject Pebble mine and save the home of 40 million sockeye salmon and the 14,000 jobs in Bristol Bay.
For more information:
EPA Takes Crucial Step Towards Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine, Earthworks, July 18, 2014