Member of Alaska's business community weigh in on their perspectives for the coming year.
The Pebble Mine project cleared a major legal and regulatory hurdle in May when it reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over pending lawsuits and regulations. But a big economic barrier to mine construction remains: the project needs a new partner.
The contributions of mining to human advancement are taken for granted when people take off in their cars, talk on their cell phones, watch the television, cook on their stoves, and many other ordinary and extraordinary activities. Elements from the earth make our lives comfortable, healthy, and safe, but the investment in people, equipment, and infrastructure necessary to produce those elements in a safe, responsible way is often overlooked. Dams at mines are an important part of the infrastructure contributing to the well-being of society that are not overlooked.
As the relatively-new head of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), John Springsteen is focusing on a number of important issues concerning mining and resource development: responsible resource development, access, and enterprise infrastructure.
Alaska is one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States, with more coastline than all other states combined. This state contains immense natural resources, including minerals and offshore resources like oil and gas and seafood.
As a life-long Alaskan, I’m proud to call this state home and I’m equally proud to represent Alaska’s mining industry. As our state copes with a serious fiscal crisis, mining is one of the few industries with great potential for growth, which would mean more good jobs, more state revenue, and more diversity for Alaska’s economy.