Sen. Lisa Murkowski is to be commended for recently calling the bluff of the Pebble Partnership by asking for “detailed plans and a timeline for developing Pebble Mine.” It’s about time that elected officials recognize the obvious.
The Pebble permitting process was to begin nearly a decade ago. But John Shively, chief executive officer of Pebble Partnership, said “getting it right takes time.” What he really seems to be saying is not that Pebble Partnership has no plan for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on studies and lobbying, but that the stars are not yet properly aligned from a political perspective. In other words, not enough permits have been “streamlined” to grease the skids (e.g. SB 26) so that innocuous permits are a guarantee.
In terms of rigor, Pebble’s underlying assumption seems to be that feasibility is in the eye of the beholder and if they spend enough money they should get the permits. Here’s hoping that Sen. Murkowski gets the Pebble Partnership to show its cards.