Pebble executives brag of friendly relationships with Alaska’s elected officials to undercover ‘investors’

Shocking tapes also highlight deception about the true scope of Pebble’s plans for the headwaters of Bristol Bay

ANCHORAGE—SalmonState today expressed shock and anger at the revelations contained in a series of undercover Environmental Investigation Agency videos exposing the Pebble Partnerships’ true plans for a mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay — and executives’ relationships with Alaska’s elected officials and with political appointees at all levels.

“We are shocked at the depth and breadth of Pebble’s deception,” said Rachel James, Bristol Bay campaign coordinator for SalmonState. “From their manipulation of the Alaska governor’s office, to the truth of their plan for a massive 200-year mine, to cozy relationships with the Army Corps and EPA political appointees, it’s clear they will stop at nothing in their plans to build a toxic mega-mine at the headwaters of the greatest sockeye salmon run left on the planet.”

In the recordings, Pebble Limited Partnership CEO Tom Collier and Northern Dynasty President and CEO Ron Thiessen discuss their relationships with Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, and Trump Administration political appointees. The tapes make clear that Thiessen and Collier do not expect Alaska’s senators to take a meaningful stand against Pebble, that they see the senators as supportive of the mine, and that every day the senators remain silent about the need for an EPA veto of the project under the Clean Water Act, or other meaningful action, is a boon for the Pebble Partnership and its actual plan to build a massive mining district at the headwaters of Alaska’s greatest salmon resource.

Of Senator Dan Sullivan, Collier says: “He’s off in a corner being quiet.” Ron Thiessen adds that the senators’ silence is “perfect for permitting.”

Of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Collier says: “When she’s asked a question she says things that don’t sound supportive of Pebble – but when it comes time to vote, when it comes time to do something, she never does anything to hurt Pebble, okay? Never…. When it really mattered, she didn’t do anything.”       

“We will continue to dig into these videos and the revelations they contain over the coming days,” James said. “For now, one thing is clear: The Pebble Partnership is counting on Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan’s continued silence about Pebble’s lies to Alaskans, and on the senators doing nothing to stop the corruption outlined in these shocking tapes. It is time for Alaska’s senators to stand with the people of Bristol Bay and the majority of Alaskans in calling for an EPA veto to this toxic, deceitful project.”

SalmonState works to ensure Alaska remains a place wild salmon and the people who depend on them thrive.