Many know that my husband and I lived in Alaska. Much of my career was spent working on natural resource development. I held political appointments to executive responsibility in both the regional office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and, later, the State Department of Environmental Conservation. In a decade of consulting I worked with clients in both the timber and oil drilling industries. I believe that resource development is compatible with the lifestyle and economic goals of modern society. Resource development is always accompanied by debate over the possible risks. In the United States we have a permitting process that incorporates important features of a regulatory program: unambiguous statutory authority; a documented basis for concern; protective standards; documented compliance; and a means of enforcement. The public have the right and the opportunity to receive information and comment at every step along the way. This process works well. Since the passage of major environmental legislation over thirty years ago the air and water are significantly cleaner.
Sometimes an issue draws so much attention that communications campaigns are launched by those for or against. This has happened with the proposed development of the Pebble copper deposit in Western Alaska. I support providing information, describing personal values and offering a point of view. I don't support creating false facts. For an analysis of a recent campaign against Pebble, please read the November 29 post on Andrew Halcro's blog. Please also visit the web site of the Pebble Partnership. The Pebble project is moving through required permitting. A truthful exchange of views is part of that process. Created facts are not.