Reader: Are ‘friends’ telling the truth?

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2007

The “friends” of the Pebble mine project, the Truth about Pebble, need to insist upon the whole truth and nothing but the truth from the mining companies. No more corporate newspeak and “Limbaughisms” — a kernel of truth lathered over with distortions and deceptions. No more denigrating opponents as spreading false information — especially for telling the truth about what Northern Dynasty has filed with the state of Alaska.

Corporate officers on the stump for their project are under no legal obligation to tell the whole truth. Consider their speeches just like politicians’ campaign speeches. As one Hollywood mogul once said, “Oral contracts are not worth the paper they are written on.”

Current Pebble newspeak is to claim opponents are making false claims about the heights of waste pit dams. No dams to 700, 710 and 740 feet. In the official document submitted to the state by Northern Dynasty you can fine the written truth. Here is the newspeak. No, the dams will not be built to those heights during construction because the document states it would be too expensive. They will rise to those heights as the ore is mined.

Do you have to take my word? No. Go to the state of Alaska Web site. Click on DNR. Once there, in the lower search window enter: Pebble mine dams. Click on the first possibility. It has tailings in the title. All the facts about tailings disposal and dam construction are right there for you to read. Seeing the other potential waste sites examined are an eye-opener.

Maybe the “friends” should ask Rio Tinto, a world class mining company and a majority owner in Northern Dynasty, to sign on as a guarantee for the Pebble Mine. If they are going to do it right, Rio should have no problem making the parent company assets available to mitigate any disaster. If they won’t, what does that say about the possibility of disaster?

Currently, if disaster struck, Northern Dynasty could declare bankruptcy and walk away leaving the state, the United States and future generations to foot the bill. And once the mine is played out, they can declare their Alaska incorporated subsidiary bankrupt leaving the above to maintain the pit dams for the next 10,000 years.

Well “friends,” with friends like you, future Alaskans just might not need any enemies.

William Phillips


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