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June 21, 2021

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And Now, a Message from Gov. Sean Parnell

Governor Parnell and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, headed up by Daniel Sullivan, rejected a petition on Friday filed by local citizens seeking to protect wild Alaska salmon streams from coal strip mining in Upper Cook Inlet. And by Upper Cook Inlet, I mean directly across from Anchorage in the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. The massive Chuitna Coal project would need to drain wetlands, and completely remove productive salmon streams which are home to all five species of Alaskan salmon in a totally unprecedented act that would make all salmon streams in the state vulnerable to the bulldozer…

Chuitna Coal – Dollars and Sense

It’s time for a little Mudflats Theatre. But this time, you get to participate in the drama! It’s kind of like an improvisation. Let’s pretend we’re doing a business deal. We sit down in a conference room overlooking majestic Cook Inlet, which borders the city of Anchorage. You arrive, we shake hands, and close the door. You’re on one side of the table, and I’m on the other. We lock eyes for a moment, and then mine dart down to a yellow legal pad in front of me, upon which numbers have been scrawled. I look back up at you…

A Lawsuit in Gov. Sean Parnell’s Future? Stonewalling Angers Anti-Coal Groups.

~The mouth of the Chuit River, between Tyonek and Beluga, Alaska Remember, way back last year when I rode a bus in a snowstorm to go hear testimony in Kenai? It was all about whether to designate the land around the Chuit River “unsuitable” for coal mining. The way it stands now, PacRim Coal plans to (for the first time ever) actually dig up eleven miles of productive salmon stream for a giant open pit coal mine.  “Don’t worry,” they say. “We’ll just put it back the way it was when we’re done.” Well, it doesn’t take a biologist to…

Open Thread – Coal Country

Here’s one not to miss if you are in town. The Mat Valley Coalition is having a free screening of “Coal Country,” a film about the effects of coal mining on communities and property values. This is an issue vital to Alaskans and those in other coal-bearing states. A recent victory in Chickaloon should not lull us into complacency. The specter of the development of the Chuitna Coal Project looms over Anchorage. Even scarier than those Russians rearing their heads. ~A River near the proposed site of the Chuitna Coal Mine

Chuitna Coal Hearing in Kenai Draws a Crowd (updated*)

*A little episode of premature posting. All photos are now here. The “Magic Bus” pulled out of the parking lot in midtown Anchorage packed to the gunwales. People came out on a weekday evening, with the threat of an impending blizzard in Turnagain Pass, knowing they wouldn’t be home until well after midnight, to give public testimony on an issue that will impact every Alaskan, and that most have never heard of. Despite the fact that the specific project addressed by this petition is across Cook Inlet, and local residents of the area only amount to a couple hundred, the ramifications…

Voices from the Flats – Citizens Speak Out for Salmon Over Coal

~The mouth of the Chuitna River where 7 million gallons/day of mine waste would pour into Cook Inlet every day, right across from Anchorage, if the Chuitna Coal project goes through. By Bill Sherwonit I wish to add my voice, again, to the many and diverse Alaskans who oppose the destruction of a Cook Inlet salmon stream for the sake of a coal mine. And I urge other Alaskans to join the effort to stop the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine, by either attending a public hearing in Kenai on Jan. 19, or by sending comments to the state’s Department…