"Mine, Baby, Mine"

As a study in how political ambition can change a person’s perspective, Sarah Palin’s reversal of course on the Pebble Mine project is as about as clear as they come. As a fledgling governor visiting Bristol Bay in 2006, she said “‘I could not support a project that risks one resource that we know is a given, and that is the world’s richest spawning grounds, over another resource.'” But in August she skirted Alaskan law by personally indicting the “Clean Water” ballot initiative aimed at preventing large mines like Pebble from releasing pollutants into salmon streams. “Other moves by the Palin administration could also help Pebble. It plans to use a $7 million federal earmark — a practice she criticizes on the campaign trail — for a major upgrade of a road through the snow-capped Chigmit range, records show. There are no villages along this route, but it would form the first leg of a proposed 200-mile thoroughfare between Pebble Mine and the Pacific Ocean.” Michael Bower and Jo Becker write about the switch in detail in The New York Times.

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