Take Action!

Ask Senate Finance Committee to stop wasting money on projects that make bad economic sense & threaten our health.

 

Do you want an Alaska that balances responsible development with protecting our health, our communities and our environment?  Or do you want a state that gives handouts to single companies at the expense of Alaskans’ safety and health?  Our state legislature is now considering yet another huge subsidy for the coal industry, which in Alaska is dominated by Usibelli and its subsidiaries.  The Mat-Su Borough is asking the State for millions to build a railroad extension from Houston to Port MacKenzie.  Freight hauled on this $300 million rail extension would be coal from Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. to export our coal resources to power plants in Asia. That coal will come back to Alaska as mercury once it is burned. (ACAT Factsheet: Mercury & Your Health)

Write today to ask your legislator to remove funding for the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension from the Capital budget.

For people living along coal transportation routes, health threats include respiratory and cardiovascular system effects from exposure to harmful air pollutants. Trains and trucks hauling coal release toxic air pollutants, including nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, primarily through diesel exhaust. These pollutants are associated with infant mortality, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischemic stroke, worsening of asthma, and lung cancer. (ACAT Factsheet: Community Health Impacts of Coal Mining & Transportation)

Your call or email could make all the difference!

Coal trains, trucks, and loading and unloading at stockpiles releases coal dust into the air, which degrades air quality and exposes nearby communities to dust inhalation. Anchorage is just two miles from proposed stockpiles of coal at Port MacKenzie. Exposure to coal dust causes increased asthma in children. A wide range of health problems is associated with exposure to heavy metals such as lead, selenium, and mercury that may be present in coal dust. Depending on the chemical composition, coal dust may be carcinogenic.  The Seward coal loading facility releases an estimated 500 pounds of coal dust every year into the air, water, and local community—do we want to breathe coal dust blown over from Port MacKenzie?

Why should Alaskans be concerned about State subsidies which threaten your health?

Not only will the Port Mac Rail Extension project waste hundreds of millions of dollars of public money on unhealthy, irresponsible development, it will also support other ill-considered projects in the Mat-Su totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.

$218.5 or up to $301 million – for a Train to nowhere: The Port Mac Rail Extension would go 32.5 miles from Houston to Port MacKenzie, plus a 3 mile loop. At least $60 million has been requested by the Matanuska Susitna Borough for 2013. Total Estimated Cost of Rail Extension is anywhere from $218.5 to $301 million shortening the distance to tidewater for resource extraction by 26 miles.

An estimated 606 mineral deposits are known along the tracks from Fairbanks to Port MacKenzie ranging from coal to asbestos to rare earth elements like molbdenum.

The Solution?

Tell the legislature we shouldn’t be wasting money on projects that make bad economic sense and threaten our health. Write today to ask your legislator to remove funding for the Port MacKenzie rail extension project from the capital budget.

Take Action!

In your own words, ask the Senate Finance Committee to remove funding for the Port MacKenzie rail extension project from the capital budget.

 

Would you like some ideas for your letter? See our Key Talking Points to the right ->

Just fill out this form to send an email to the members of the Senate Finance Committee today!


Contact Senate Finance Committee:

The Senate Finance Committee needs to hear from Alaskans who are concerned about the millions slated for infrastructure which will threaten our health with heavy industrial development.

Tell the legislature we shouldn’t be wasting money on projects that make bad economic sense and threaten our health. Write today to ask your legislator to remove funding for the Port MacKenzie rail extension project from the capital budget.

Senate DistrictCitySenator (Party)EmailPhone
ASitkaBert Stedman (R)Email 877-463-3873
BJuneauDennis Egan (D)Email907-465-4947
DFairbanksJoe J. Thomas (D)Email800-336-7383
LAnchorageJohnny Ellis (D)Email888-330-3704
NAnchorageLesil McGuire (R)Email800-365-2995
SBethelLyman F. Hoffman (D)Email866-465-4453
TGolovinDonald Olson (D)Email800-597-3707

Current Actions: Ask Senators to remove funding for the Port MacKenzie rail extension project from the capital budget.

Speak Up! Contact your Alaska State Senators

Ask Senators to remove funding for the Port MacKenzie rail extension project from the capital budget.

Senate DistrictCitySenator (Party)EmailPhone
ASitkaBert Stedman (R)Email 877-463-3873
BJuneauDennis Egan (D)Email907-465-4947
CAngoonAlbert Kookesh (D)Email888-288-3473
DFairbanksJoe J. Thomas (D)Email800-336-7383
EFairbanksJoe Paskvan (D)Email877-665-3709
FNorth PoleJohn B. Coghill Jr. (R)Email877-465-3719
GWasillaLinda K. Menard (R)Email877-465-6601
HWasillaCharlie Huggins (R)Email800-862-3878
IEagle RiverFred Dyson (R)Email800-342-2199
JAnchorageBill Wielechowski (D) SB 27*Email800-550-2435
KAnchorageBettye Davis (D)Email800-770-3822
LAnchorageJohnny Ellis (D)Email888-330-3704
MAnchorageHollis French (D)Email866-465-3892
NAnchorageLesil McGuire (R)Email800-365-2995
OAnchorageKevin Meyer (R)Email866-465-4945
PAnchorageCatherine A. Giessel (R)Email800-892-4843
QKenaiThomas Wagoner (R)Email800-964-5733
RKodiakGary Stevens (R)Email800-821-4925
SBethelLyman F. Hoffman (D)Email866-465-4453
TGolovinDonald Olson (D)Email800-597-3707
SB 27*Sponsor of Senate Bill 27

 

Questions? Call Alaska Community Action on Toxics at 907-222-7714 or email [email protected].