From day one, the world has been faced with an age-old question: Can we do it? From “Can we cross the Atlantic Ocean?” to “Can we land someone on the moon?” the human race has found challenges and overcome them. Now, Alaska is faced with a question: “Can we mine the Chuitna River?” The answer: probably.
But I think that it’s high time the world started asking the questions we should have been asking ourselves since day one: Should we do it? Is it right? So, Alaska, what do you think? Should we rip eleven miles of streambed from one of our greatest rivers — a river that is heavily relied upon by all five species of salmon? Is it right to allow a Texas-funded corporation destroy our Chuitna River (the Chuitna would never recover. Never.) just to make some money?
Sure, mining offers jobs and coal offers energy. But those jobs won’t last long; they’ll burn out as quickly as the coal, leaving nothing behind but a big, black smudge on our shattered watershed and earth’s already-damaged atmosphere. Mining jobs just aren’t sustainable. What are sustainable, however, are commercial fisheries: the very jobs this mine would destroy. Instead of investing in a mine that will only worsen our ecosystem and our economy, we should be searching for ways to replace our dependency on nonrenewable resources with cleaner, more efficient power sources.
We all know that saying about history repeating itself if we don’t learn from it. We have already destroyed almost every wild salmon stream in the Lower 48. We know what will happen if we follow through with this mine, and it’s not worth it. It’s time to exercise a little self control and use some common sense. It’s time to say no to the Chuitna coal mine.