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Resource Development vs Conservation In Alaska - Term Paper Example

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Mining industry is one of the bedrock economic activities in Alaska. Unlike other economic activities, mining contributes heavily to economic development of Alaska in terms of providing jobs, accelerating other service industries, contributing to enhancement of infrastructure and contribution of royalties to state and local government of Alaska…
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Resource Development vs Conservation In Alaska
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Download file to see previous pages Mining industry in Alaska is wide, which includes exploration, mine development, mineral development, and mineral production. Some of the notable minerals mined and produced in the state include zinc, lead, gold, silver, coal, as well as construction materials such as sand, gravel, and rock (Alaska Miners 1). A quick glance into the 2007 statistics of how mining industry contributed to the economy, it becomes clear that mining plays great role to economy of Alaska. For instance, during the period, about 3,500 direct mining jobs were created in Alaska, in addition to another 5,500 direct and indirect jobs (Alaska Miners 1). In terms of royalties generated from the mining activities, an estimated $340 million in direct and indirect payroll was realized. Out of this sum, $14 million went to the local government revenue through property taxes and payments of taxes; $175 million went to state government revenue, while another $170 million of payments went to Alaska Native Corporation (Alaska Miners 1). In summary, what these figures indicate is that, mining industry is today one of the primary economic sources for the development and prosperity of Alaska. Nevertheless, in this midst, there have been concerns of mining activities to the social, economic, cultural, and environmental aspects of the communities in which mining takes place. This is particularly of great concern when mega-projects of mining are permitted to be carried in the state whereby, the costs associated with the project may outweigh its benefits. Alaska State’s issues are intricately connected to the natural resources, which for the last fifty years have dominated the economy and politics of the state (Kimura 191). At the same time, it has been observed that these debates are likely to continue into the future and the only likely changes that may be witnessed constitute resources that will fulcrum the future debates, the composition of coalitions that are established to promote and oppose resource development, and the complexity and touch of the issues at hand. Furthermore, debates on these issues are likely to be affected by critical elements of global market forces, conservation concerns, policy directives and judicial decisions, which in turn will affect the decisions associated with developing resources in the state. Chuitna Coal Mining Project in Cook Inlet A proposal has been made to the state of Alaska and the federal government of USA to permit PacRim LP Company to construct Chuitna Coal Project, which is a coal strip mine in Beluga Fields located near Chuitna River (Environmental Protection Agency 3). The project will involve surface mining and export development of coal resources in the Beluga Coal Field located in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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