Remember the Pebble Mine — the ambitious mining project proposed years ago for a remote area of Alaska? The groups involved in the project are still tied up in the permitting process, thanks to permitting processes in the United States that can take over a decade long. The groups hired IHS Global Insight, a respected international consulting firm, to take a look at the project and model the likely outcomes in terms of jobs and tax revenue for the State of Alaska and the United States as a whole. This is some of what they estimated:
The first thing that struck my eye was the additional tax revenue it would bring into the State of Alaska. A topic Resourceful Earth has written about in the past is the idea that there are ways to create additional tax revenue to that don’t involve directly raising taxes. This is a good example. The infographic above notes that during the production phase of the Pebble Mine, annual tax revenues from the project could double the total tax revenues taken in from mining operations in the state.
This chart indicates that Alaska took in around 7 billion in total tax revenue in 2012. If we assume that the “production” years of tax revenue is in the middle of the range, around $150 million per year, that would represent a 2% increase in total state tax revenue, which is enormous when you consider it is coming from a single individual project. That extra $150 million could be used to reduce other taxes in Alaska (though they do not have a personal income tax or a state sales tax), or to pay for additional state services.
Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency has placed the mine in limbo after creating some theoretical and unrealistic justifications for potential environmental damage from the mine. Until the EPA decides to abstain from considering a pre-emptive veto of permits needed for the mine, the mining project cannot go forward.