Alaska 's Coal Clean Coal

2249 Words9 Pages
Alaska is widely known for its vast untouched wilderness, abundant wildlife, and its coal. Sam Weis explains in “The Local and Worldwide Impacts of Mining Alaska’s Coal,” that Alaska is home to an estimated 5.5 trillion tons of coal, which is approximately one-eighth of all the coal on Earth (25). The energy that comes from burning coal is in great need not only in the United States, but also all over the world. According to Gail West, in his article titled Alaska’s Coal Clean Burning and Abundant,” “Japan, South Korea, and Chile are three primary markets for Alaska’s coal exports (113). This dire need for coal has led many people wanting to turn towards Alaska as a primary source of coal. There is just one problem; the coal and the…show more content…
Mining enough coal to supply the world, would really take a toll on Alaska’s climate because of its vast environmental impact. In the article, “There Is No Such Thing as Clean Coal” the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) states that the main sources of pollution due to the production of coal is “methane emissions” and “particular matter emissions” (2). Not only is the burning of coal harmful to the environment, the coal transportation after it is mined also poses a huge threat. The NRDC clarifies that “diesel burning trucks, trains, and barges that transport coal spew dangerous chemicals into the earth’s atmosphere” (2). Not only is it harmful to the atmosphere, but also to the land and water if it happens to be spilled. The EPA states, “truck records indicate that truck accidents near streams are likely over the long period of mining operations” (19). The addition of these toxic emissions to the earth will greatly influence the issue of global warming on our planet and could potentially become irreparable which would make life much harder for future generations. Coal mining Alaska will also negatively affect its abundant wildlife. The mining of the coal will ultimately force the wildlife out of the area, which will cause major problems. Since so much land and
Open Document