I favor the Pebble Mine. When I first visited Kenai to work a shutdown in 1972, I told my wife this was like going back to Iowa in the 1940’s where we grew up. Shortage of phones, roads, electricity; but with the oil pipe line, the whole state has been blessed with the availability of all of them.
We were blessed with the ability to travel, after quitting work because of health. We spent 14 years in campgrounds in Arizona. Eight years in a campground about 2 miles from one of the big holes in the ground. The other 6 years within 5 miles of this hole; no problems. We also spent a month at a time in a park in Green Valley, Ariz., where there was an operating big hole mine within 5 miles of the town of approximately 40,000 retires living there and this mine was above the town and valley. Never an incident.
A great experience, since most of my life was manufacturing chemicals, was a tour of the mine at Silver City, N.M., a mine which had been operating many years as it became a hole 1 1/2 miles long and 1/2-mile wide. A tour van took our group down into the pit and we saw blasting of the walls so the huge loaders could fill the trucks which hauled it out of the mine. We observed the leaching area where they sprayed chemicals on the rock to help release the metals, completely done over a hillside covered with vinyl or acid proof material and the liquid would be returned to the unit which processed it, reclaimed the acid and returned it to be used again. We also had a tour of the smelter area and watched ingots of copper being poured. There were other big holes in Arizona but one huge one we came upon was in B.C., Canada. I have no idea how large it was, but huge.
After World War II, we didn’t get electricity until I was 14 years old and my 18 years living on a farm, never had running water, indoor bath facilities, but if it wasn’t for all the big holes in the ground, it would have been much longer. With the shortage of copper and the good price, it appears to me that if the state took royalties from it and put the money in the Permanent Fund when the government stops the drilling for oil, it might be a little help in the future. One industry, fishing, cannot support the operations of a state and I personally feel after 35 years of dealing with the EPA and the government’s way of stopping development, the mine would help.