Coal opponents have ulterior motives - Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Letters To Editor

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Coal opponents have ulterior motives

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Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 7:36 pm

To the editor:

The not-in-my-backyard crowd has resorted to imagined health hazards as a scare tactic against Mat-Valley coal production. Beginning in World War I, local coal mines have often been the economic backbone of this area. Until the mid-1960s, the Palmer school, hospital, co-op and most homes were heated by local coal, as were Anchorage power plants and businesses. I, and others, was able to work our way through college because of the mines. Many of us still remember long train loads of uncovered coal cars going through Palmer to Anchorage. Guess what — the snow was white, the sky was blue, there were salmon in the streams, the air was clear and we were and are healthy. Those who are oppose to local redevelopment of a coal industry do not know of what they speak, or have ulterior motives.

Bob Harris


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • truthBtold posted at 5:55 pm on Thu, Oct 11, 2012.

    truthBtold Posts: 148

    You are way off target on this one. The mines of 1940-60's were nothing in size and scale to what is being proposed now for the Mat Valley. Underground mines that did a few thousand tons versus huge strip mines doing millions of tons / yr. A couple cigarettes wont kill you but 30 years and 9800 packs later it sure will. This is the difference of today from the historical mining you discuss.

    Despite what many of you write and seem to think, not everyone that wants the CHIA's is against all mining. Many of us just want to see the state recognize that there are now large populations relatively close to these new huge-scale proposed mines; and those people deserve to have safe/ clean wells, good air quality, and as safe as possible travel around the valley. The CHIA is a chance to identify areas that these risks can be mitigated. CHIA's almost never stop a project, they just make them better.

    This is not all just scare tactics as you propose. Have you researched at all what this scale coal mining does to adjacent communities everywhere else in the world? Take some time to take a look and you may be enlightened to see why so many Mat-Su Valley health professionals (whether or not they will be directly impacted) want to see these CHIA's done before the mining starts. An ounce of prevention (like quitting smoking) is far better than trying to cure it later (lung cancer is rarely curable).

  • posted at 11:27 am on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.


    So if the health assessment comes back and says that this development can be done with minimal health risk, are the opponents going to back down? I'm guessing no

  • PalmerBill posted at 6:29 pm on Tue, Oct 9, 2012.

    PalmerBill Posts: 52

    The Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) protocol was developed by the World Health Organization and further refined by UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
    UC Berkeley holds seminars and teaches courses on pushing these protocols wherever any kind of development project occurs.
    The HIA is an open ended, worst case scare-scenario tactic used all over the US to slow and even stop anything that looks like progress.
    Once the bloom came off the 'save the environment' and 'endangered species' stories, progressives started to push the HIA as an effective way to hold the US back.
    These folks won't be satisfied until they have achieved 'social justice' - as they've defined it.

  • Contrarian posted at 5:27 pm on Tue, Oct 9, 2012.

    Contrarian Posts: 146

    Most of us support responsible development, which can only occur when environmental impact and risk to health are minimized. Good scientific study is needed to determine the best way to accomplish responsible resource development.

  • beenthere posted at 8:14 pm on Mon, Oct 8, 2012.

    beenthere Posts: 247

    Guess what Bob..It's no longer 1960 and there are nearly 90,000 people in the borough not 4,000. The only motivation of the full health impact study is to give the state, borough and public the information they deserve to consider the benefits as well as the negative impacts of mining coal in the valley. No boggy man just science.



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