John Shively, the CEO of the Pebble Partnership, had a good discussion on E&E T.V. about the future of a promising mining opportunity in Alaska. You can watch the video here.
Here is a partial transcript:
Monica Trauzzi: Well, what’s your assessment of how EPA has been approaching all of this? Do you feel that they have the authority to dead stop the project? Should this be left to the state?
John Shively: Well, EPA has a role to play. Our opposition has asked them to come in and stop us before we even get into the permitting process. I think that’s wrong. I mean I think they should play their role in the permitting process and then they can test what our project is. Right now they’re looking at a major watershed study of the two watersheds we might affect. Those watersheds are the size of Maryland and New Jersey combined. Whether they can really do that when all the information in the watershed is ours and we only cover a very small area, I don’t know. Our opposition has asked them to shut us down before we get started. Do they have that authority? I really don’t think so, but, you know, we may get to test that later on.
Monica Trauzzi: So, is EPA approaching this fairly and effectively?
John Shively: Well, I think they’re trying to be fair in the watershed assessment, but effectively, I don’t know. I don’t think they can do the watershed assessment in watersheds this big without huge resources. We’ve spent over $100 million just on a very small area in those two watersheds. Now, are they going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars collecting the same kind of information that we are? I don’t think so.
Monica Trauzzi: So, if this were to reach commercial production, this mine, what are the long-term benefits, the long-term prospects?
John Shively: Well, I mean we’ve got 80 to 100 years of resource and I think there might be more resource out there. I mean there are certainly jobs and training for local people. As I said, that’s one of the reasons I’m interested, and there’s job opportunities even nationwide. I mean we build something this big, we’re going to need, you know, all sorts of equipment and things that we’ll get from the national economy. We’ll bring cheap energy to some of those villages. I mean right now they pay $0.80 a kilowatt hour or more. We’ll drive that down to around 10 or 12. And there’s taxes for the local government. There’s taxes for the state government, so there’s a potential for, I think, a lot of opportunity for people.