Responding to Deantha Crockett's "Coal is healthy and Alaska should produce and use more" compass, I refuse to be distracted by arguments over Outside funding. I don't appreciate Crockett's self-righteous undertone when declaring coal the answer to human rights issues and energy injustice for billions of people worldwide — especially when coal mining has historically generated injustice through community and cultural displacement and regional destruction of human and environmental health.
My concern is for people, like the hundreds of Mat-Su families living in close proximity to three proposed coal strip mines. Thousands more live downwind from these mines, myself included. We have basic human rights to clean air and water. Usibelli Coal Mine, however, in their 2013 air quality permit application, used baseline data from Eagle River and data collected in 1990 for their Wishbone Hill lease.
If this industry truly cares about human rights, it would generate accurate, current data and allow Valley residents to decide what's best for ourselves. But using funding and human rights as a blindfold to cover their shortcomings is disingenuous.
— Liz Allard
Alaska Dispatch Publishing