Video: President Obama Protects Bristol Bay from Oil and Gas Exploration

Social media lit up yesterday upon the announcement from the White House that president Obama had signed a Presidential Memorandum protecting the waters of Bristol bay from oil and gas exploration. This is great news, but it’s important to remember that this ruling does not affect the proposed Pebble Mine. I asked Trout Unlimited’s Scott Hed for some words on what this means for anglers fighting to protect the headwaters of the bay:

In his announcement protecting Bristol Bay’s Outer Continental Shelf from oil and gas drilling, President Obama touched on many of the same points that those who have worked to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine have used for years. The President acknowledged the uniqueness of Bristol Bay, and the tremendous economic benefits it creates for Alaskans and many in the lower 48. Though Tuesday’s announcement is welcome news for Bristol Bay, it does not affect the fight to stop the Pebble Mine. The EPA must still issue final and permanent protections to prevent North America’s largest open pit mine from being built at the headwaters of one of the world’s premier sport-fishing destinations. With a final Clean Water Act 404(c) determination in Bristol Bay, the EPA has the power to make President Obama’s pledge to protect Bristol Bay both complete and lasting.

So, while this is great news and perhaps shows that the winds are blowing in the right direction, the movement to stop Pebble Mind must continue to press for the EPA to take a stand in favor of Mother Nature.

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Click here for more from the White House.

Perhaps the President’s fly-fishing experience has him attuned to the importance of the Bristol Bay region.
White House photo by Pete Souza

3 thoughts on “Video: President Obama Protects Bristol Bay from Oil and Gas Exploration”

  1. watch conservative sportsmen, who elected the very leaders who tried to ram this mine — among many other anti-environment anti-sportsm agendas — down our throats, heads explode.

    say what you will, Obama has been a friend to sportsmen/women.

  2. I am a strong supporter of drilling and oil exploration, but I also spent 13 years commercial salmon fishing in Bristol Bay knowing the possible ecological mess oil rigs would cause the fisheries not to mention trying to drift fish around these rigs creating additional safety concerns to the fishermen. The ONE insanely rare case I side with the President insuring this important fishery is protected.

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