Zales Executives Claim Ignorance on Jobs-Killing Pledge

Natl Center For Public Policy Research | December 8, 2012 

Zales Executives Claim Ignorance on Jobs-Killing Pledge Despite Potential to Harm American Workers, American Security and National Sovereignty

Jeweler Will “Look Into” Its Past Endorsement of Radical Environmental Boycott of American Gold and Other Precious Metals from Alaska’s Pebble Mine

Irving, TX/Washington, DC -
 Today, at Zales annual meeting of shareholders in Irving, Texas, National Center for Public Policy Research Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. criticized Zales CEO Theo Killion for promoting a Pebble Mine boycott – organized by green extremists – which seeks to halt a mining project that could create thousands of American jobs and increase American security.

At issue is a yet-to-be proposed mining operation in Bristol Bay, Alaska, by the Pebble Partnership. However, the partnership has not applied for a single state or federal mining permit, nor have they finalized a mining plan. Despite this uncertainty, Zales executives today doubled-down on their intention to boycott all metals and minerals from the region.

“Zales executives have claimed that the Pebble Mine will harm the local environment and indigenous population. However, the Pebble Mine is at least a decade away from operations – assuming the mine goes forward,” said Danhof. “When I asked them today how they could know the dangers of a mine that hasn’t even been proposed they could not answer.”

Zales signed the “Bristol Bay Protection Pledge” in 2010 vowing to boycott all minerals and metals that might ever be extracted from the Pebble Mine. The pledge is co-sponsored by Earthworks – a fringe environmental group that is profiled on the National Center’s educational website,

Approximations place the value of the Pebble Mine at $400 billion, and according to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, the mine “could potentially triple U.S. reserves of copper, increase its gold reserves by 50 percent and make America the world’s largest holder of mineral molybdenum, an essential component of high-strength steel alloys.”

“Zales is helping a radical fringe movement kneecap American national security by trying to lock-up land that contains strategic minerals that are essential to national defense. On top of that, they are voluntarily removing themselves from a key source of raw gold and other minerals that not only harms American workers, but may also lessen Zales’ bottom line,” said Danhof. “For the corporate leadership to engage in such gross misconduct is irresponsible to its shareholders.”

Besides being harmful to America by trying to kill potential jobs and revenues associated with a Pebble Mine, the pledge itself is nonsensical because it is unlikely Zales could enforce it if the mine were to being operations. Gold is bought and sold on international markets where it is often impossible to trace the original source.

“When I asked Killion how he could be sure that no Zales product would ever contain Pebble Mine gold, he had no answer for me. Today, we brought real costs to Zales leadership team for its anti-American positions. Corporations need to know that kowtowing to the far-left environmental lobby has consequences,” added Danhof. “Companies cannot simply ‘green wash’ their corporate image at the expense of American jobs and resources with impunity.”

A copy of Justin Danhof’s question at the shareholder meeting, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a Zales shareholder.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than 4% from foundations, and less than 2% from corporations. It receives over a quarter-million individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.  It has no financial interest in the possible Pebble Mine project, not, to its knowledge, do any of its donors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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