The development in question is a 13,175-acre area the state Department of Natural Resources is considering leasing 18 miles southwest of Skwentna. The department has said it is considering the leases after Alaska Energy Corp., which appears to be owned by CanAm Coal Corp. of Calgary, requested the state make some land there available.
“The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly supports the efforts of AK DNR to lease the site for coal exploration and mining, and supports the efforts to authorize environmentally responsible coal mining that will benefit borough workers, taxpayers and residents,” reads the resolution sponsored by Mayor Larry DeVilbiss, which passed the assembly by a 6-1 vote Jan. 15.
Lack of an extraction tax in the borough led one assemblyman to vote against the resolution, but he was successful in getting included in its text a statement saying the borough is considering a 1 percent extraction tax.
A previously proposed coal mine, the Wishbone Hill prospect near Sutton, is closer to development but has proven extremely controversial in the borough.
Read more at The Frontiersman: Assembly supports Skwentna coal lease