Alaskan tribal group targets Sen. Murkowski on Pebble mine

A tribal advocacy group is targeting Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) for supporting the controversial Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

In a new ad released Tuesday, the non-profit Nunamta Aulukestai, which means "caretakers of our lands," slams Murkowski for listening to foreign mining companies over Alaskans.

"Pebble Mine would put a three mile wide hole and 9 billion tons of waste...right in the heart of Bristol Bay.  Even a small leak could kill the fish. Devastate native tribes and wildlife.  And put thousands of Alaska jobs at risk," the 60-second radio ad buy states.

It adds: “But Pebble CEO Tom Collier and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski aren’t listening."

The near $40,000 ad buy will run for one week across the state including the communities of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to restrict the development of the proposed mine near Bristol Bay to protect salmon supplies. The agency may also veto the mine.

The EPA said the cooper and gold mine, which would be the largest of tis kind in the world, would be as deep as the Grand Canyon and "cause irreversible damage to one of the world's last intact salmon ecosystems."

Murkowski railed against EPA's proposed restrictions, saying it set a dangerous precedent.

“The EPA is setting a precedent that strips Alaska and all Alaskans of the ability to make decisions on how to develop a healthy economy on their lands," Murkowski said in a statement last month.

Executive director of Nunamta Aulukestai, Kim Williams, faulted Murkowski for pushing legislation that would roll back Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay.

“Time and again, Senator Murkowski has said she understands our concerns about the Pebble Mine, but she continues to side with foreign mining interests that are working to undermine common sense Clean Water Act protections,” Williams said in a statement. “Alaskans want leadership from our senior Senator."