Very careful, for the sake of all Alaskans and our children.

Posted: August 3, 2010 at 9:45 am

Think About It…… August 3, 2010

Alaska is a “resource state” and we as Alaskan need to be very careful when we say “no” to resource development. Very careful, for the sake of all Alaskans and our children.

The Pebble Mine holds 80 Billion pounds of copper, 5.6 Billion pounds of Molybdenum and over 10 Million ounces of gold plus huge amounts of silver and palladium. When authorized for development it will provide 2000 construction jobs for over two years and more than 1000 highly skilled, high wage operational jobs and many business opportunities. The project would pump many millions of dollars in tax revenue into our State and Borough governments.

The Chuitna coal prospect is a proposal by PacRim Coal to build a large strip mine on the western side of Cook Inlet, near  the communities of Tyonec and Beluga, where the Kenai Peninsula Borough has already built a large coal loading and docking facility. If built, the project is expected to employ around 350 Alaskans and provide almost $400 million in tax revenue, each year, to the State of Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula Borough for more than 25 years.

Coalbed methane has received a lot of attention in Alaska over the last 15 years, in particular in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley at Wishbone Hill. Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. is currently building an access road to the site.  Usibelli has also applied for a permit from the state to explore for coalbed Methane deposits in the Healy Basin of Interior Alaska near their present coal exporting facility at Healy. If the deposit is large enough, Usibelli would like to provide gas to railbelt utilities, as well as their coal mining operations. The US produces about 1.7 trillion cubic feet of coal methane gas from about 20,000 wells, each year.

The potential for development of natural resources across Alaska is huge.  Mining for coal, gold, silver, copper, zinc, molybdenum, oil, and a host of other valuable strategic minerals is very important because Alaska is a “resource state”. Our Alaskan economy depends on it.

Right now, any of the potential mining development and operations in our state must undergo years of environmental research by anyone seeking to bring any kind of mine into production. The list of State and Federal agencies, which must decide if any mining proposal meets all of their environmental requirements, is long and extensive.  The environmental list of regulatory requirements and oversight that each one of these dozens of agencies must follow before permitting is approved is overwhelming. Meeting them requires the expenditure of many millions of dollars by all companies seeking mining permits.

However, if we can put a man on the moon, it surely must be possible to mine without environmental damage to our beautiful state and provide the thousands of jobs that we and our children will need in the future.

As Alaskans, let’s not let the greenie, leaf licking, tree huggers, among us, scare us into becoming a place where those seeking to bring about sound and responsible resource development are not allowed to develop environmentally sound projects.

Think About It!      JCD   8-3-10

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6 Comments to “Very careful, for the sake of all Alaskans and our children.”

  • Northerner49 says:

    Clean water and wild Alaska salmon are two of our resources as well. A RESPONSIBLE project, mining or otherwise, does not trade one resource for another – PacRim’s Chuitna Coal Project trades wild Alaska salmon for coal destined for China. Cook Inlet fisheries is a BILLION dollar industry that IS providing good jobs, puts food on our tables, and is a mainstay of our economy – no mining project should jeopardize that, but according to the EPA, ADF&G, and USFWS the Chuitna coal project will have direct and indirect impacts to fisheries in the short and long term – PacRim is not proposing a responsible resource development.

    Providing a stable economy and a healthy environment for our children go hand-in-hand. Let’s not be bamboozeled by a couple of Texans looking to turn our resouces into their bank accounts – we can and must do better than that.

    The KPB has not built a coal docking facility, PacRim intends to build their own – right on top of one of northern Cook Inlets best setnet fisheries.

    If we can put a man on the moon then we can creat energy without destroying salmon streams.

    And please stop making up numbers for tax revenue, after listening to PacRim officials it is clear that they will be bringing in workers from outside who have strip mining experience so there will not be 350 jobs for Alaskans, and please correctly spell TYONEK.

  • Dave Hendricks says:

    this argument basically says trust the government and the corporations to do what’s right. it also has a healthy dose of eco-fear mongering which seems to work best with the uninformed. the one question this piece doesn;t answer is, when do we stop? do we grow forever, salmon streams be damned? do we drill every last hydrocarbon from the earth? or do we look to past to understand we’re on an unsustainable path that requires us to think big and bold? if we use the man on the moon/apollo example, let’s start kicking some butt with renewable fuels before the chinese completely crush us. because clean, renewable, flat cost fuels ARE the future, whether you chose to believe it or not.

  • Earth Dog says:

    Maybe by 2035 we will figure out how to import wild salmon from the moon.

  • Alaskan says:

    Shouldn’t we be more concerned with how to keep the fish returning to the rivers?

    The Russian river was shut down to fishing a few times this year, and Ship Creek in Anchorage was shut down for a whole season!

    I wonder what my child would choose-fishing at the river, or a coal mine.

  • DRILLER MAN says:

    DRILL BABY DRILL!! weve already destroyed & near depleted the fisheries by fishing them. what is the difference between the impacts of either resource in the “long run” none, people need jobs fishing aint gonna cut it so lets get the ball rolling and make a future for our kids.

  • Steve Wright says:

    Thur 8/12/10
    I suggest that All Alaskan Residents & the Decision Makers make the time to View the
    National Geographic Flim titled : GAS LAND
    This is a non-fiction documentary about what has happened in the “Lower 48″ & the Drilling for Natural GAS.

    The Toxic Chemicals used to Drill for Natural Gas is POISONING the Drinking Water.

    This is No B S This is FACT. Think twice about allowing Oil Companies to Drill for Natural Gas near Your Family.

    Of course the Oil Producers & Our Legistlators will deny this is happening.
    Watch the movie GAS LAND for undeniable PROOF.

    Retiree SPW “Airborne”