Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alaska the Last Frontier ... not for long

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Alaska, the last great frontier, is being threatened by many proposals to mine an estimated 5.5 trillion tons of coal. Scientists comment on the struggle to keep Alaska untouched.

Alaska, the last great frontier, is being threatened by many proposals to mine an estimated 5.5 trillion tons of coal. Sam Weis, author of "The Local and Worldwide Impact of Mining Alaska's Coal" in the magazine Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, comments on the struggle to keep Alaska untouched.

The coal industry is in direct conflict with many of Alaska's other industries; such as fishing. One example Weis touches on is the Chuitna River. This habitat supports all five species of wild Pacific salmon, among other fish, moose, brown and black bear, beaver, fox, birds, and waterfowl. Additionally, it provides a place for local Alaskan villagers to carry out their traditions and customs. This is precisely the spot PacRim Coal proposes to build one of the largest open-pit coal mines in the U.S. It will destroy 11 miles of the Chuitna River in just the first phase of its construction among other long-term negative side effects.

Another example provided by Weis lies in the Matunuska Valley. This area has a history of coal mining, beginning in the 19th century when hundreds of coal miners flocked here. Alcohol, disease, and dietary changes destroyed the indigenous population, leaving only 40 survivors by the time the coal mine pulled out in 1922. In addition it chased away animals and destroyed salmon streams. The Chickaloon Native Village spent $1,000,000 rehabilitating the damaged streams and, after a century of being cut off, the salmon are once again making their annual journey. However, now the villagers are fighting three new mining project proposals that will destroy 20,000 acres of land and damage the restored streams.

Coal mining is not a unanimously agreed upon subject among the Alaskans, who are known to be pro-development. Coal mining had yet to gain the political influence that the oil industry has because of the major difference between the taxation relating to the oil and coal industries. While the coal industry has yet to gain a foothold in Alaska which currently has only one operating coal mine, eight new proposals on the table makes the state's future uncertain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sam Weis. The Local and World-Wide Impact of Mining Alaska's Coal. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 2014; 56 (1): 25 DOI: 10.1080/00139157.2014.861677

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Alaska the Last Frontier ... not for long." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310102240.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, March 10). Alaska the Last Frontier ... not for long. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310102240.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Alaska the Last Frontier ... not for long." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310102240.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins