Victories & Setbacks – The Battle Rages in the Courts
June, 2015 was a very busy time for Alaskan courts and the Bristol Bay issue. First there were several victories and then a setback. While the issue now stalls in the courts, we can keep the story alive and the pressure on by continuing to write and release music and messaging. Here is a run down of where the issue stands legally.
VICTORY - “Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court issued two decisions that will have far-reaching impacts about how the Department of Natural Resources conducts business in hard rock mineral exploration, and the ability of the State and others to chill opposition.” – http://www.themudflats.net/archives/45982
VICTORY - “An appeals court panel has upheld a decision that dismissed as premature a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine.”
It would be reasonable to think that, if we’ve not quite yet stopped the Pebble Mine, we’re pretty far along on the road to victory.
Unfortunately, after those legal wins, we suffered a SETBACK on June 4th when this happened… http://bit.ly/1KQChrW
As you know from our emails, the Pebble Partnership has launched an all-out attack on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and has sued in federal court to keep EPA from doing its job of protecting Bristol Bay.
EPA in return asked the court to dismiss Pebble's lawsuit. Based on previous court decisions, that’s what we expected to happen. But on June 4th, to our surprise, the court left standing a key provision of the Pebble Partnership’s lawsuit.
We have come a long way. We absolutely believe that, in the long run, the Pebble Mine will be stopped, and Bristol Bay will be protected permanently.
On December 14th, 2015, President Obama banned oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, calling the region “one of America’s greatest natural resources and a massive economic engine, not only for Alaska but for America,” and saying "It is a natural wonder, and it’s something that’s just too precious to be putting out to the highest bidder.”
That didn’t stop the Pebble Mine, but it’s a deeply important step in the campaign to protect Bristol Bay, and lays the groundwork for other federal action that will protect Bristol Bay permanently against ALL threats.
Over the last few months, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has held a series of hearings about the Pebble MIne, usually hastily announced, with representation mostly only from proponents for the mine. And Northern Dynasty has hinted that they may sue the EPA under the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism of NAFTA.
WE STILL NEED TO KEEP FIGHTING, AND WE KNOW YOU WILL CONTINUE TO BE PART OF THAT FIGHT.
Thank you for all you do for justice — and for Bristol Bay.