Resource Development Council

RDC Comment Letter:
Support of Canyon Creek area coal exploration lease sales

View the Action Alert

December 19, 2012

Mr. Bill Cole
Department of Natural Resources
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 900B
Anchorage, AK 99501

Via email to:

Re: Support for the Canyon Creek Area Coal Exploration Lease Sales

Dear Mr. Cole:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska is writing in support of the Department of Natural Resources’ coal exploration lease sales in the Canyon Creek area.

RDC is a statewide organization made up of all resource sectors, business associations, labor unions, Native corporations, tourism providers, local governments and individuals. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Canyon Creek district is an area that should be further explored to determine its potential. New mining operations in the area, should they come to fruition, can be of great economic benefit to the Mat-Su Borough and Alaska. If a project is put forward, it could be a high tax-paying entity in the Mat-Su Borough, as well as a project paying the State of Alaska through taxes and royalties.

Moreover, the project could eventually provide 100-200 well-paying jobs, with an average annual salary of $100,000.

Concerns about the project potentially impacting the environment will be considered through the Department of Natural Resources’ stringent regulations overseeing mining activities statewide that effectively protect the environment, wildlife, and human health.

Additionally, a surface coal mine in Alaska is subject to the Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act (ASCMCRA). ASCMCRA is a comprehensive permitting program, and combined with other current state and federal regulations, sufficiently protects the environment, water resources, and wildlife if a surface mine is proposed in the area.

In conclusion, RDC encourages the State to proceed with lease sales for coal exploration in the Canyon Creek area.

Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.