Biden vows to block Alaska mine project if elected

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at the Colonial Early Education...
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at the Colonial Early Education Program at the Colwyck Training Center, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in New Castle, Del.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Published: Aug. 9, 2020 at 7:55 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Sunday that if he’s elected, his administration would stop a proposed copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.

Deputy National Press Secretary for Joe Biden’s campaign, Matt Hill, confirmed the Democratic presidential hopeful’s comments. In an online statement, Biden wrote, “Bristol Bay has been foundational to the way of life of Alaska Natives for countless generations, provides incredible joy for recreational anglers from across the country, and is an economic powerhouse that supplies half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. It is no place for a mine.”

In the statement, Biden cites a 2014 Obama-Biden Administration Assessment as the basis of his argument. Biden says he stands by that assessment and says, “The only reason we are still debating whether Pebble Mine should move forward is because hours after former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with a mining executive behind closed doors, the Trump Administration reversed our thoughtful decision.”

The Pebble Partnership has responded by saying that the Final EIS and Record of Decision is what will determine federal action at the Pebble prospect. Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier responded to Biden’s comments saying the Final EIS released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 24, 2020 will “without any doubt whatsoever” serve as the administrative record for all federal regulatory and permitting decisions at Pebble.

“It’s election season, and people are going to posture and say things, I totally understand that,” Collier said in a written statement. “But when it comes down to brass tacks, to the law, there can be no federal action at Pebble that is inconsistent with the Final EIS, period.”

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