Did you know that in the Cook Inlet, oil & gas operators can legally dump toxic waste into coastal fisheries? That’s right – Oil & gas corporations are allowed to dump over 100,000 gallons of oil and grease and over 835,000 pounds of metals such as mercury, nickel, copper, manganese and zinc into the Cook Inlet. No other port in the USA allows multinational energy conglomerates to poison ecosystems this way. And it’s not just the ecosystems being polluted – 2/3rds of Alaskans live in this watershed.
When the Stand for Salmon Initiative passes, these companies will have to give public notice and prove that their projects do not cause irreparable harm to salmon habitat. It should be a common sense collaborative step towards better protecting salmon habitat. Instead, these extraction corporations are spending millions to fight it. (link)
The Stand for Salmon Initiative (Remember to vote YES on 1 in November) is a crucial step towards realizing this vision of a healthy future. At this moment in time, we can barely even begin to talk about what a just transition towards a more sustainable economy and revitalizing ecosystems will mean – we have no way of accounting for the damage that extractive industry causes. As it stands now, we, the people of Alaska, are the only ones who protect our homes and waterways. Have you ever heard of Fish & Game denying an oil or gas lease without us having to fight it for years? We need more than publicly funded environmental watchdogs surveying for toxics and habitat impacts, but a clear preventative process that simply defines, in the law, basic principles of salmon habitat science. This is the direction of the Stand for Salmon initiative.
Oil & gas companies are already heavily subsidized to plunder public lands and sell to offshore speculative energy markets. Is it too much to ask what they plan to do with all the mess they leave behind? Is it too much for us to know that if an energy project is approved, we can be confident that no irreparable harm will come to waterways or ecosystems? Alaskans should be in charge of the state’s salmon economy and the health of the place they live, not private energy companies.
Here at Cook Inletkeeper, we believe in a healthy, vibrant, sustainable future for Alaska that doesn’t rely on an extractive economy. A healthy, vibrant future for Alaskans has clean waterways. Where every year, salmon runs are larger than the last. Forests grow old, and where our elders can show their treasured wild places to younger generations. A healthy, vibrant future is not rivers filled with hazardous waste from refineries, or oceans trawled for everything living.
There are 5 corporations that have each spent more than $1 million opposing our campaign and the Stand for Salmon Ballot Initiative. We will never match them dollar-for-dollar, but with your help we can do the community organizing that matters to bring our friends and families to the polls in November. Vote Yes on 1 in November. Donate Today.