Report shows millions spent on D.C. lobbyist for Pebble Mine project

(KTUU)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — In the time since President Trump took office, the Pebble Partnership has spent more than $4.4 million on lobbying in Washington, public records show.

Environmental advocacy non-profit Cook Inletkeeper compiled data from the Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act and published it in a report last week. Filings show that in total since 2007, the Pebble Partnership has spent more than $11 million on lobbying.

The Pebble Partnership does not refute the amount the report says it spent on lobbying.

"This should come as a surprise to no one that Pebble has generated a fair amount of interest both in Alaska and among policy makers in Washington D.C. And as part of our course of business, we have it as an important priority to keep D.C. stakeholders, both those who are generally supportive, curious or opposed to the project, informed about what we're doing," Pebble Partnership spokesperson Mike Heatwole said of the document.

Heatwole suggested the report is part of a "massive misinformation campaign."

He says that entering the permitting process in 2017 raised the project's profile, which also accounted for increased spending on lobbyists.

Former Republican State Senator and Pebble Mine critic Rick Halford was not involved in compiling the report, but says it shows the company's priorities.

"It's kind of amazing that they are spending that kind of money to try and garner political support when they don't have any real partner to build," Halford said. "It's an analysis of where they're putting their priorities. Their priorities are not scientific. They're not in cleanup. They're in politics, and they need to be in the field and in the economic side, but the economic side has rejected all their efforts so far to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars lost investment."

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