"Just north of Iliamna Lake in southwestern Alaska is an empty expanse of marsh and shrub that conceals one of the world’s great buried fortunes: A mile-thick layer of virgin ore said to contain at least 6.7 million pounds — or $120 billion worth — of gold.
As fate would have it, a second treasure sits precisely atop the first: the spawning ground for the planet’s biggest runs of sockeye salmon, the lifeline of a fishery that generates $500 million a year.
As early as this spring, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to invoke a rarely used legal authority to bar a Canadian company, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., from beginning work on its proposed Pebble Mine, citing risks to salmon and to Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, 150 miles downstream. The EPA’s position is supported by a broad coalition of conservationists, fishermen and tribal groups — and, most opinion polls show, by a majority of Alaskans."
So what we have here is a fight between fake wealth and real wealth. The gold types want to put real wealth- this area of pristine wilderness which supports a massive salmon fishery (ie high protein, low fat FOOD) at risk in order to produce fake wealth- 6.7 million pounds of a soft metal of limited utility (ie GOLD). Its a sad state of human affairs that we would risk real wealth to extract something of superficial value, that derives most of its "worth" from ancient superstitions, and artificial scarcity from being melted into bars and locked away.
This comes down to FOOD vs. GOLD. Which would you rather have?
Thankfully it appears that US EPA will make the decision to block this project and save the real wealth....at least for now.