Dear [Representative X or Senator Y],
One thing the American people have learned from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is that sometimes the worst-case scenario really happens—despite corporate and government promises to the contrary.
As Anglo American corporation continues its environmental and socioeconomic studies of the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay in Alaska, I am standing with the local communities, which are overwhelmingly opposed to their risky plans.
(The December 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine, located at ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/12/bristol-bay/dobb-text, offers an overview of the mine proposal and the battle over its approval, in “Alaska's Choice: Salmon or Gold.”)
No matter how many assurances Anglo American executives or Alaskan authorities give, we cannot afford to gamble with the future of a critical ecosystem that supports prolific salmon runs, a vast array of wildlife, Native communities and thousands of sustainable jobs in fishing and tourism.
Anglo American and state agencies are making similar promises, stating that mine will be environmentally responsible.
But given the sad water-pollution record of hard rock mining, and the fact that the Pebble Mine will generate some 10 billion tons of waste at the very headwaters of the pristine watershed that feeds Bristol Bay, even a small chance of catastrophe is too much to roll the dice with this irreplaceable ecosystem.
Some risks are simply unacceptable.
I urge you to support the will of local residents, more than 80 percent of whom oppose the Pebble Mine (and millions of wild salmon consumers), and use your influence and vote to oppose the mine in any way you can.