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Legislators Send Letter of Supporting Large-Scale Modern Mining

Letter to Northern Dynasty President stresses Alaska is open for safe and responsible development

JUNEAU-Eight members of the Legislature this month sent a letter to President and CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ron Thiessen, to encourage and support the company’s effort to advance the Pebble Project.    The letter stresses Alaska is open to investment from those who seek to develop the state’s natural resources in a responsible manner which benefits its citizens and the United States.

“Discovering, advancing, permitting, and developing hard rock mines in the United States requires a long-term commitment of time, money and expertise,” said Senate Resources Chair Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/N. Kenai).  “We appreciate the project team’s approach in making ongoing investments in environmental science and engineering studies prior to initiating permitting to ensure the project can co-exist with clean water, healthy fisheries and traditional ways of life.”

So far, Northern Dynasty has worked to advance the Pebble Project for more than 10-years and has invested more than $700 million on the opportunity.  If the project moves into the development and operating phase, it could create thousands of jobs in Southwest Alaska.

"Alaska clearly has the resources to be a world leader in mineral development, but we've seen the integrity of our permitting system unfairly maligned during public debate on Pebble," said House Resources Co-Chair Representative Saddler (R-Eagle River).  "It is important for state leaders to express our confidence in mining as a way to bring Alaskans jobs, revenue, and economic diversity.  This letter makes it very clear that Alaska supports and welcomes responsible resource development."

“The issues and passions generated by discussing Pebble are many and complex,” said House Resources Co-Chair Eric Feige, (R-Chickaloon).  “This is why we have an established, science based process to evaluate projects and determine if they meet our high standards for development. The alternative is a politically driven process that would promote decisions based upon the whims of partisan politics, with a guaranteed outcome that investment money will go somewhere else. And with it so will the jobs and economic opportunity for Alaskans for generations to come. Alaskans are smart enough to do projects like this right. Let’s work together and find a way to make that happen.”

The letter was signed by Senate President Charlie Huggins (R-Wasilla), Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R-Fairbanks/North Pole), Senator Giessel and Senate Finance Co-Chair Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) as well as well Speaker of the House Mike Chenault (R-Soldotna),  Representative Feige, House Rules Chair Craig Johnson (R-Anchorage), and Representative Saddler (R-Eagle River).   

“Pebble is a state asset, on State of Alaska land, with the tremendous potential to employ thousands of Alaskans and serve as a global example of responsible resource development based on modern science and technology,” said Senator Giessel.

To read a copy of the letter, please click here.

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