Alaska 's Coal Clean Coal

2249 Words Apr 3rd, 2015 9 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 methods used to extract it can be very dangerous. Since the coal is so harmful, there is an increased amount of pressure to find safer and more sustainable methods of energy. Until the day comes where a safer alternative is found, people are going to have to decide whether or not Alaska should welcome the mining of The Last Frontier. Weis states that to this day there is only one operating coal mine in Alaska, but many more are being proposed (29). The additional mining operations, which were recently proposed to the state of Alaska, would lead to devastating impacts on the environment, wildlife, and Alaskans. Altogether coal is one of the most dangerous sources of energy to the well being of the environment. According to Tim Appenzeller in…
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