Climate, Coal and Energy  

Coal is the dirtiest fuel on Earth, and unfortunately, up to 1/8 of the world’s total coal resources is found in Alaska, a staggering 5.5 trillion tons.

As a result of this abundance, Alaska is being eyed by international mining companies as the next frontier for coal development.

Currently there are more than a dozen coal-related projects in Alaska – large new strip mines, export facilities, rail and road extensions, port development and more. If these vast resources are mined, the coal will all be exported to and burned in foreign countries, increasing the carbon pollution in the atmosphere that is responsible for human-induced global climate change.

As a means to mitigate the future impacts of devastating climate change, ACF fiscally sponsors the Alaskans for Energy Freedom Campaign and provides direct support to the growing network of partners that share our desire to keep Alaska’s coal in the ground.

Proposed coal projects in Alaska include:

Chuitna Coal Strip Mine and Export Facility

PacRim Coal is requesting the State of Alaska to permit the destruction of 11 miles of an active salmon spawning and rearing stream [the first time this would ever be permitted in Alaska] and ship 300 million tons of coal out of the country.

Wishbone Coal Hill Mine

Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. seeks to build a strip mine adjacent to a residential neighborhood in the Matanuska Valley, just 40 miles north of anchorage (fastest growing region in the state).

Riversdale Coal Mine

Riversdale Resources [a company affiliated with international mining giant Rio Tinto], seeks to build a coal strip mine in a region inhabited by the Chickaloon Tribe, who are vehemently opposed to the project.

Western Artic Coal Project

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation seeks to develop the largest untapped coal resources on the planet in a region that is also home to the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, the largest in the United States.

The Road to Umiat

The State of Alaska is seeking to build a road to the eastern edge of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. The road would potentially be constructed adjacent to coal prospecting leases where the Native Village of Anaktuvuk Pass has used as subsistence grounds for time immemorial. And many more, including other mines adjacent to Chuitna, Wishbone Hill and Riversdale and infrastructure needed to develop this coal and bring it to market.

Creating added urgency to this effort, Alaska is feeling disproportionate impacts of climate change; Winter temperatures in Alaska have increased as much as 7 to 10 degrees over the last 50 years; Sea ice is shrinking, causing bigger storms and accelerated erosion that is destroying coastal communities and displacing residents that have lived off these lands for thousands of years; Permafrost is melting; Forests are succumbing to beetle infestations causing increased risk of forest fires; and salmon streams are warming, putting added stress on an important species that all Alaskans rely upon for sustainable economies and quality of life.  The time to act is now. 

You Can Help!

By donating to ACF, you help support our efforts to keep Alaska’s coal in the ground, where it belongs.

Your $ at Work

Alaskans for Energy Freedom Campaign

The Alaskans for Energy Freedom campaign is a growing coalition of tribal, conservation, sportsmen, consumer and community groups that seek to prevent the impact developing Alaska’s coal will have on the global climate as well as on the people, land, and waters of Alaska. This campaign is focused on effectively engaging Alaskans to engage in the public process and holding the state and developers accountable to all local, state and federal laws. Since the campaign began, no new coal mines have become operational in Alaska.

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