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Consequences too great to allow coal mine

Posted: August 31, 2011 - 11:00am

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.

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fish4food 10/21/11 - 10:05 pm
Questions??? Maybe there are more that need to be asked.

I am a life long Kenai Peninsula resident of 45 years. I love this state and the peninsula and all it has to offer. I wonder sometimes, what is going to keep me and my family here? I have seen what the Wallmart, Fred Meyer, McDonalds, and those such places pay for wages. Don't get me wrong, I underrstand why they pay those wages and sometimes that makes a difference in who can make it here and who can't. But, trying to raise a family on those wages alone, even with government programs that help suport those type wages it is hard. We need good paying industrial jobs. This artical states fishing jobs are better than the industrial jobs that come from these type projects. Well, I don;t think the tax revinue from fishing is going to support the peninsula for long. I think the coal mine can probably be developed responsibly. Let's see what the plan calls for and maybe there can be changes put into place where the river would not be disturbed. Or done in a manner where it would not impact the fish. I am not up on all the plans for this mine but I don't like seeing it shot down before we get all the details. Look at my handle...fish4food. I am one of the last of the people that want to see our fishing industry go away. I admit, I don't have all the answers. I am just tired of hearing that we can't do anything responsible and that we are going to destroy all our habitat. With all the permitting required to do a project like this, I am sure there are some pretty heavy safegaurds inplace to make sure it can be done responsibly. We need better paying jobs to support the lower paying ones as well. If all the industrial jobs were gone, we would see a whole lot more small, as well as large, go the way of Lowes.

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