The Pebble Partnership announced that Pebble chief executive officer John Shively will assume the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pebble Project. In a release posted at the partnership’s website the move is described as one that will allow Shively to be a part of the strategic leadership team for advancing the project. With this move, PLP will appoint Tom Collier to the position of chief executive officer for the company.
“This is a complex project and to successfully advance it will take several phases. I have been working with Tom for the last two years on the many issues presented by the EPA’s flawed Bristol Bay report and have found his strategic guidance very helpful on this issue and others associated with the complexities of federal permitting for the project. Our goal in the year ahead is to focus on advancing the project and to initiate permitting. This is another step along that road and I remain committed to this important project for Alaska’s future,” said Shively.
Shively noted that Collier is no stranger to Alaska having represented many Alaska based clients over the course of his 40-year career with law firm Steptoe and Johnson with a specialty for guiding companies successfully through the federal environmental permitting process and the 404 wetlands permit in particular, a critical permit overseen under the Clean Water Act by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Collier has worked with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and Conoco Phillips on important Alaska issues including the reauthorization of TAPS, Alpine development, and the CD-5 issue.
“It is extremely important to me in accepting this role to have John in a strategic leadership capacity so we can move this project forward. John has overseen the tremendous engineering and environmental work to design a mine that can protect the critical salmon fishery in Bristol Bay and we both believe a mine can be built that will meet the high expectations Alaskans have for development. I look forward to advancing this important work,” said Collier.
Shively has served as PLP’s CEO since April of 2008 and brought extensive knowledge about Alaska resource issues and a passion for advancing opportunities for Alaska Natives to the job. Shively served two Alaska governors and helped bring the Red Dog Mine to reality at Nana Regional Corp.
In addition to his extensive legal career with Steptoe and Johnson, Collier has worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior as Chief of Staff for former Secretary Bruce Babbitt and at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Collier noted that his experience at Interior taught him three things about complex issues:
• Natural resource development and environmental protection can co-exist.
• Science is the key to resolving controversial environmental issues.
• The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) required Environmental Impact Statement process is the best way to resolve scientific disagreements.
“I will bring these lessons and my extensive experience with the section 404 permitting process to the Pebble Project. I am confident that Pebble can succeed in getting its permit, notwithstanding the challenges along the way and I am committed to making that permit a reality,” Collier said.