TWO POLLS SHOW MOST ALASKANS OPPOSE PEBBLE MINE
Submitted by Ted Williams on Fri, 10/27/2006 - 07:30.
Anchorage – Two new public opinion polls show that Alaskans statewide, and particularly those who live in Bristol Bay and the Lake and Peninsula Borough, overwhelmingly oppose the proposed Pebble Mine. The first survey, commissioned by the Renewable Resources Coalition (RRC) and conducted by Hellenthal & Associates, asked 400 registered voters in the Bristol Bay Region whether they favored or opposed the proposed open pit gold and copper mine being proposed for the area. The second survey of 607 voters statewide, also paid for by RRC, was conducted by The Cromer Group of Washington, DC. Key findings of the Hellenthal survey include: • Overall opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine is 70.6 percent, with 20.7 percent favoring and 8.7 percent undecided • In the larger population centers, the proposed mine development has the most opposition in Dillingham/Aleknagik (79.6 percent opposed, 15.1 percent favor and 5.3 percent undecided) and the least opposition in King Salmon/Naknek (50.4 percent opposed, 43.3 percent favor and 6.2 percent undecided) • Bristol Bay Native Corporation households oppose at 71.9 percent, with 17 percent in favor and 11.2 percent undecided • Native corporation or tribal government households oppose at 73.8 percent, 17.6 percent favor and 8.6 percent undecided • Respondents with post college education oppose at 83.5 percent, 12.6 percent in favor and 3.8 percent undecided • Alaska Native respondents are more opposed (75.2 percent oppose, 15.3 percent favor and 9.5 percent undecided) “The Alaskans living downstream from the proposed Pebble Mine have evaluated Northern Dynasty’s plans, weighed the pros and cons and decided open pit mining is not worth the risk,” said Scott Brennan, chief operating officer of RRC. “We believe local residents, not Canadian corporate executives should decide our state’s future. It is time for all Alaskans to join Bristol Bay in rejecting this ill-advised project.” The Hellenthal & Associates survey was conducted between Oct. 11-18, 2006. At a 95 percent confidence level, the random digit survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent. Key findings from The Cromer Group survey include: • 53 percent of voters statewide say they are opposed to the opening of Pebble Mine, 28 percent are in favor and 19 percent are undecided • While about half of all men are opposed, four of every seven women are opposed • A majority of voters in all party affiliations oppose the mine (Democrats: 62 percent oppose, Republicans: 61 percent oppose and Independents: 49 percent oppose) • Half of all voters feel Pebble Mine is a threat to Alaska’s quality of life (Anchorage: 56 percent, Southeast: 62 percent) • Fifty-six percent feel the mine poses an environmental threat to the water quality in Bristol Bay and 61 percent agree that the damage from Pebble mine will forever threaten the subsistence way of life in the mine area • Sixty-eight percent agree that “open pit mines and wild salmon just don’t mix.” • Sixty four percent are in favor of halting Pebble Mine because Northern Dynasty promised the state they wouldn’t touch Upper Talarik Creek, but then later applied for the rights to the water that is the spawning ground for Bristol Bay’s salmon and trout The Cromer Group’s statewide survey used random digit dialing to interview 607 registered voters in six key regions of the state – Southeast, Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su Valley, Fairbanks and rural Alaska. The survey, which was conducted Sept. 25-Sept. 27, has a 95 percent confidence level, plus or minus 4 percent. More information on both surveys and their methodologies can be found at http://www.renewableresourcescoalition.org/pebble_... The proposed Pebble Mine has drawn opposition from many Alaska Native communities and organizations, commercial fishermen, sport fishing industry leaders and Alaskans from all walks of life. The Renewable Resources Coalition (RRC) is a non-profit corporation formed to protect Alaska’s renewable resources and the existing jobs, families and communities they support. The Coalition also seeks to promote awareness of public policy issues that affect the well-being of businesses and individuals that depend upon fish and game resources. Learn more at http://www.renewableresourcescoalition.org/ # # # Scott Brennan Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer Renewable Resources Coalition, Inc. 500 L Street, Suite 502 Anchorage, AK 99501 Telephone: (907) 632-9933 Fax: (907) 272-9319 [email protected] http://www.renewableresourcescoalition.org