Trump Jr. opposes Alaskan mining project despite administration efforts to approve it

One of the president’s sons is calling on his father to scuttle a controversial mining project.

Donald Trump Jr., who is an avid fisherman, came out publicly on Tuesday against the Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, despite the Trump administration’s recent moves toward approving the endeavor, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Too unique and fragile”

Pebble Limited Partnership, which has been seeking construction approval from the federal government for years, is on track to move ahead with the mining project after the Army Corps of Engineers concluded in a July report that it would not damage the environment, according to the Examiner.

But Trump Jr., in a shock tweet, said that the venture was not worth risking harm to Bristol Bay, which is the site of the biggest commercial sockeye salmon fishery in the world. 

“As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%,” Trump Jr. said in a tweet responding to objections to the project raised by Nick Ayers of the World Economic Forum. “The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take chances with.”

The proposed copper and gold mine, which would be the largest in North America, has faced significant pushback from lawmakers, environmentalists, and tribal organizations alike.

House Democrats have expressed opposition to the project, following in the footsteps of the Obama administration, but there appears to be an even wider belt of consensus.

Widespread opposition

Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s former chief of staff, explained his position on the proposed mine in a tweet that prompted Trump Jr.’s own declaration.

“Like millions of conservationists and sportsmen, I am hoping [President Trump] will direct [the Environment Protection Agency] to block the Pebble mine in Bristol Bay,” Ayers tweeted. “A Canadian company will unnecessarily mine the USA’s greatest fishery at a severe cost,” he continued. “This should be stopped and I believe @POTUS will do so!”

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Pebble Limited Partnership spokesman Mike Heatwole said that Trump Jr. and Ayers are “wrong” because the Army Corps of Engineers already found “that Pebble mine will not harm the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.”

A source told The Washington Post that Trump Jr. has been following the issue for years and has brought it up with his father in the past. But the Trump administration has generally opposed Obama’s environmental agenda, and its position on the Pebble Mine has been seen as no exception.

Might this be an occasion for bipartisan consensus? Americans will find out soon enough what the president decides.

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