Two of the Republican candidates vying for U.S. Senator Mark Begich’s job, presented their records and thoughts on a range of issues for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce lunch crowd today.
Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell and former Attorney General and DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan agreed on all of the topics. From supporting a gas pipeline to denouncing federal overreach and the NSA. Both men are pro-life and both say the Environmental Protection Agency’s watershed assessment in Bristol Bay was too early.
Treadwell says the state invited exploration of the potential for a copper mine in the Bristol Bay region and the EPA made a bad decision. He said the state needs to fight back.
“Because we do protect the environment here. I’m very proud of my record on the environment but I’m very proud of Alaska’s record on the environment. And don’t let them tell you, you aren’t smart enough,” Treadwell said. “The EPA was looking for a sponsor for a long period of time. With about a million and a half dollars of research they said, we can overcome close to $150 million worth of science on a half trillion dollar project. It’s wrong, we have to fight it, and we have to be outraged. I am.”
Sullivan says the state has the highest standards in the world and companies should be allowed to go through the permitting process. He says the EPA completing a watershed study before there was a Pebble mine proposal was unprecedented.
“They’ve never done it before. And when I was Attorney General and DNR Commissioner, most recently a joint letter from me and Attorney General Geraghty, we asked the EPA, where do you get this authority? They never answered,” Sullivan said. “And whether you are for Pebble or against it, and I know it’s a controversial project, no Alaskan should be for an EPA that believes it can preemptively look at any project in the state, on state land and tell us whether or not we can move forward on it.”
Anchorage Chamber officials say candidate Joe Miller was invited but declined to appear today. Miller’s spokesman Randy DeSoto says the campaign not aware of an invitation until it was too late to participate.