In this time of global environmental crisis, it is dismaying to see a former Cabinet official of William Cohen's stature trade on his reputation to validate a review that reads like a press release of the company that hired him -- a company whose reckless mining project poses risks that are, according to EPA, potentially "catastrophic."
Over 70 years old, and he was always willing to make the trip -- whatever the trip, wherever it took him -- to talk, to testify, to tell the terrible story of the uniquely reckless scheme by international mining giants to poison the communities and wild salmon fisheries of Alaska's Bristol Bay with a gigantic copper and gold mine.
The company hasn't given up on its dreams to build a colossal mine at the headwaters of the world's greatest wild salmon fishery. Last January, with the sale of special warrants to existing investors, it raised about $15 million -- almost half of which came from a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands. Where is the money going? Not to mining but to lawyers and lobbyists.
EPA has the opportunity to protect both a unique natural resource and an economic powerhouse. It has the scientific basis, legal authority, and moral responsibility to protect Bristol Bay. And that's exactly what this diverse coalition of Alaska Natives, subsistence, commercial and sports fishermen, lodge owners, faith leaders and environmental groups will tell EPA next week.