The CNN Smearbund
John Stossel wrote a nice piece entitled “A CNN Smear” which appeared on Townhall and the local paper. Having been ambushed by CNN and its reporter Drew Griffin myself, I can feel for Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) CEO Tom Collier whose comments were obviously edited to make him look like an environment-hating Republican crony who went to Washington as soon as Trump took office to take advantage of his political juice.
No doubt Mr. Griffin and his producer told Collier, when discussing the interview, used words to the effect, “don’t worry, we don’t want to talk about your Pebble project in particular. We just want your take on mining in Alaska generally.”
Of course as Griffin tells the story Collier went to Washington to speak with EPA head Scott Pruitt about lifting the Obama Administration EPA’s pre-emptive veto on applying for a permit for the mine. And within an hour, "EPA staffers were shocked to receive this email obtained exclusively by CNN which says 'we have been directed by the administrator to withdraw restrictions' ... (P)rotection of that pristine area was being removed."
The fact is, as Paul Lebo writes for Seeking Alpha,
the EPA had agreed to lift the veto toward the end of the Obama administration, but then in the final days in office failed to conclude the agreement. This is noteworthy as it sheds light that the prior EPA had reached a verbal agreement to lift the veto and thus for the new administrator to follow through on the agreement after his review of the situation appears to be a very conservative and appropriate course of action.
Bur, as Griffin put it, "This looks like the head of a gold mine went to a new administrator and got him to reverse what an entire department had worked on for years."
And while CNN portrayed the proposed Pebble mine trashing miles of pristine salmon breeding grounds, the mine is to be located 100 miles away.
What CNN did not report is that Pebble sits just over 100 miles from Bristol Bay, and is 1,000 feet above sea level. Only two tributaries near Pebble feed into Bristol Bay, and these two tributaries account for less than 1% of Bristol Bay's water flow.
CNN’s Griffin called Collier "a guy who wants to mine gold in an area that many scientists believe will destroy one of the most pristine sockeye salmon sporting grounds in the whole world."
Griffin forgot to mention that Collier is “a Democrat who once ran environment policy for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore,” Stossel writes.
The project is a long way from being a mine. Lebo writes,
Importantly, we further note that the lifting of the veto does not guarantee that the mine permit will be approved. It is merely a process issue whereby Pebble should be allowed to submit a permit for scientific review, a prospect with which many Alaskans are in agreement.
CNN didn’t mention that the mine has been downsized and a number of safety measures put in place for the proposed mine that will take years to be approved and built. If the mine comes to fruition, the Community benefits would include,“Estimated annual revenue to the Lake & Peninsula Borough would be $19-21 million per year. Estimated annual state revenue would be $49-66 million per year and estimated total job creation for Alaskans would be 1,500-2,000.”
CNN doesn’t let any facts get in the way of their agenda of demonizing business.