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OPINION: Parnell, Sullivan show little regard for Alaska fish

October 17th, 2014 | Rep. Les Gara Print this article   Email this article  

It's telling Sean Parnell (for governor) and Dan Sullivan (for senate) aren't running on their record of endangering Alaska's salmon and other fish for corporate profit. Who can blame them?

In 2013 Parnell and (Senate Candidate) Sullivan pushed a bill letting toxic mines, like Pebble, take millions of gallons of water from our fishing streams. House Bill 77, passed by a GOP-run House, left it to then-Commissioner Sullivan whether to favor mega-mines over leaving enough water in our fishing streams. Alaskans spoke up and stopped this bill.

Sullivan and Parnell supported Pebble, which would be North America's largest toxic surface mine. Most Alaskans oppose this mine, located in the middle of the world's greatest salmon and trout drainages. Sullivan and Parnell hid behind a Frank Murkowski-weakened "permitting process" — saying it should determine whether this mine goes forward. They granted permit after permit.

They did the same on the salmon rich-Chuitna River, where they fought local objections to dredge 11-plus miles of spawning beds for coal to China.

In 2013 Parnell and his legislative allies passed a law allowing cruise ships to dump more waste in our fishing waters.

Fish bind Alaskans of all backgrounds. Sullivan and Parnell haven't yet learned that.

Rep. Les Gara is a State Representative and freelance fishing writer.

 


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