ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group on behalf of Bristol Bay United finds that opposition to the Pebble Mine remains strong, with 62% of likely Alaskan voters opposing the mine and only 33% supporting it. The intensity gap is also stark; 47% are "strongly opposed" to the mine, while only 16% "strongly support" Pebble. Support crosses party lines, with 88% of Democrats, 63% of Independents, and 42% of Republicans opposing the mine. Additionally, 55% support EPA action to deny Pebble Mine the federal permit necessary to move forward.
"It was Alaskans who asked the EPA to take a close look at the Pebble Mine, and it's Alaskans who are still overwhelmingly opposed to the Pebble Mine and strongly supportive of EPA action," said Trout Unlimited's Alaska Program Director Tim Bristol. "As Pebble continues to fight this losing battle, the company's tired and hollow arguments are falling on deaf ears in Alaska."
Voters in Alaska clearly understand the risk of the Pebble Mine. 70% believe the Pebble Mine poses a threat to Alaska's fishing industry, with 51% believing that it could create a "great deal" of risk. Conversely, only 20% are very concerned about Alaska losing out on thousands of reliable, year-round jobs if Pebble Mine isn't built. Opposition to the Pebble Mine is unique for an Alaskan resource issue; the same poll found that 67% of respondents supported drilling in ANWR.
"The people of Bristol Bay petitioned EPA to use its 404(c) authority to review the potential threats Pebble mine poses to Bristol Bay's incredible salmon runs," said Daniel Cheyette, Associate General Counsel for the Bristol Bay Native Corporation. "This new polling demonstrates that the people of Alaska continue to share their concerns."
The poll shows opposition to the Pebble Mine is in line and even stronger than previously released polls over the last several years. And the poll was conducted after the EPA initiated – and the Pebble Limited Partnership and State of Alaska responded to - the Clean Water Act 404(c) process in the region.
"This poll shows that Alaskans understand that the Pebble mine would be an economic and environmental disaster waiting to happen," said Katherine Carscallen, Sustainability Director for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. "The EPA has the strong support of Alaskans as it continues its process to protect Bristol Bay and its fishing economy from irresponsible mining development in Bristol Bay."
The poll memo can be found by clicking here.
Methodology: On behalf of Bristol Bay United, the Benenson Strategy Group conducted 600 telephone interviews with likely 2014 voters in Alaska from May 13 through May 15, 2014. The margin of error for the entire sample is ±4.0% at the 95% confidence level, and is larger for subgroups. For context, note that in the poll, 18% of the voters interviewed self-identify as Democrats, 26% as Republicans, and 57% as Independents or something else.
Bristol Bay United is an unprecedented coalition of Alaska Natives, commercial fishing industry members, and sport-fishing interests who are unified in opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine.
SOURCE Bristol Bay United