ANCHORAGE – Congressman Don Young has never been known to mince words and he isn’t holding back when it comes to the Pebble Mine. Young isn’t happy about the EPA’s final report on the Bristol Bay watershed that predicts big problems if a mine the size of Pebble goes in.


The congressman said, for him, the issue isn’t about salmon or the environment. He said the bigger issue is the fact that a federal agency is trying to control what happens on state land.


“We control the fish as well as the mine land, so it should be up to the state,” Young said. “I am very frustrated when people don’t recognize that. Emotionally, it sounds good, but factually, if you want to have a state of Alaska, you had not let the federal government tell you how to manage your land.”


The EPA hasn’t banned Pebble outright, although that could still happen. Both Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the mine should be permitted to go through the permitting process where the state will have a say. Sen. Mark Begich recently said he agrees with the EPA that the mine poses a danger to both people and salmon in the Bristol Bay region.