Congress Seeks Answers on Alaskan Mine Project

Democrats in the House of Representatives have begun an investigation into the Pebble project in Alaska, seeking records to determine whether developers of the proposed gold and copper mine deceived Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers about their plans.

In letters to the developers and corps officials, leaders of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure expressed concerns that recently released secret video recordings showed that the developers had played down the size and duration of the mine in public, while privately planning a much larger and longer project.

“It seems as though Pebble was dealing with two sets of facts: one to lure potential investors to the Pebble project, and one to alleviate fears of Alaskan Natives, the U.S. Congress and Federal agencies of potential adverse environmental impacts from the mine,” the committee’s chairman, Peter A. DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon, and a subcommittee chairwoman, Grace F. Napolitano, Democrat of California, wrote in one of the letters sent to John Shively, interim chief executive of the Pebble Limited Partnership.

The letters, sent Thursday, asked the partnership and the corps to turn over documents, emails and other records related to the project from 2017 on and set a deadline of Dec. 10.

Press officers for the Pebble project did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a statement on Friday, Representative DeFazio said the committee was requesting the records to “gain a fuller and more accurate account of Pebble’s intent.”

“I’ve said all along that the Pebble Mine is a bad project that’s been made even worse by a sham process,” he said.

The Pebble mine,

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Energy & Environment.

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