Destructive resource extraction in sensitive areas is harming Alaska and the global climate

For almost a decade, Alaska Conservation Foundation has been working to keep Alaska’s vast resources deposits in the ground in some of the most sensitive and biologically productive ecosystems on earth. Mining and burning fossil fuels threaten Alaska’s lands, waters, wildlife, and communities, and also contribute to the warming of the earth’s climate through the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Alaska Conservation Foundation supports a network of partners that share our desire to keep Alaska’s resources in the ground and to prevent the acceleration of climate change. 

The threats

Coal and mining

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.

Oil and gas drilling

Oil and gas drilling projects exist throughout the state of Alaska, both on land and in our coastal waters. Historically this type of extraction has resulted in disastrous impacts. A primary example is the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill of 1989 where over 11 million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the pristine environment of Prince William Sound. Aside from disasters related to these projects, exploration and planning cause their own damage to the environment. Seismic testing is known to be harmful to marine and terrestrial life, and in ecosystems like Alaska’s where the environment is slow to recover, scars from seismic testing can last decades. The most prominent proposed oil and gas drilling project Alaska Conservation Foundation is currently concerned about is in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Our work to protect Alaska

Alaska Conservation Foundation works collaboratively around the state with a variety of entities to protect Alaska from harmful resource extraction. In particular, our collaborative conservation initiatives work to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Learn more here. Additionally, as a means to mitigate the future impacts of devastating climate change Alaska Conservation Foundation established the Alaskans for Energy Freedom Field of Interest Fund to support to the growing network of partners that share our desire to keep Alaska’s coal in the ground.

Check out this story of when we worked with community partners to defeat a coal mine in Chickaloon!

You can help!

Donate today to Alaska Conservation Foundation to protect Alaska’s sensitive ecosystems from destructive resource extraction and reduce global impacts of climate change.

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