Is Alaska’s Pebble Mine the Next Keystone XL? (The Atlantic)

The push to open a gold-and-copper mine in a rich fishing area has split Alaskans along unusual political lines.

From:  The Atlantic

The shore of Bristol Bay near Naknek, Alaska (Wikimedia Commons)

Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, adjacent to the Bering Sea in the state’s southwest corner, is rich with large and productive reserves of natural resources. One of those resources, the world’s largest sockeye-salmon fishery, generates anestimated $1.5 billion annually. The thousands of pristine acres of surrounding wetlands, ponds, and lakes are treasured because there isn’t much untouched land left in America. Bristol Bay is also home to a large population of Alaska Natives, whose cultures and lifestyles revolve around the region’s “wildness” and especially its salmon. Those are the living, breathing resources of Bristol Bay. And then there are the inorganic resources—oil and gas and mineral deposits, not yet fully explored or exploited but representing a whole lot more wealth than Alaska’s accessing now.


US oil boom fuels rail industry resurgence (Christian Science Monitor)

From: Christian Science Monitor

An increase in US crude oil production has strained the nation’s existing pipeline capacity. The rail industry is picking up the slack but oil train accidents have raised questions about how to safely transport oil.

By Daniel J. Graeber, Guest blogger / March 11, 2014

A rail tanker passes through Council Bluffs, Iowa. Rail is becoming an important cog in the energy transport wheel, Graeber writes.

Nati Harnik/AP/FileDespite mounting concerns about safety, and developments in the midstream sector, John Gray, a senior vice president of the Association of American Railroads, said crude oil is now a key commodity group for the rail industry.