Begich: Pebble will harm salmon

Mark Begich

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. Official photo.

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says the proposed Pebble Mine is “the wrong mine in the wrong place for Alaska.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week released a report finding that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed posed significant risks to the region’s renowned sockeye salmon fishery.

Begich is the first member of Alaska’s current congressional delegation to firmly oppose the mine. He says there are too many potential long-term impacts to the fishery.

A spokesman for Pebble Limited Partnership says the group is disappointed that Begich had come out against what they claim would be “thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions in state revenue, and potentially billions in economic activity for Alaska.”

Alaska’s junior senator called a meeting in December of developers and critics to see if common ground could be found.  Begich says it couldn’t.

His position was first reported in the Anchorage Daily News.