By DEANTHA CROCKETT May 27, 2014
A recent opinion piece from Steve Haycox argued that the battles over mining projects in the Matanuska Coal Field are not fundamentally about Outside environmental interests trying to oppose development — development that is mostly supported by local residents.
Haycox misled his readers. The fact is, anti-coal groups are largely funded by Outside money. The non-Alaska money that pours into our state for the purpose of snuffing out jobs and development is not obvious to the public because it is filtered through the Alaska Conservation Foundation.
ACF’s most recent annual report discloses that they funded $1.4 million in anti-coal activities throughout Alaska, and at least $181,000 of that was earmarked specifically to stop coal developments in the Mat-Su.
But where does the ACF get its money? The nine largest donors identified on their latest annual report are 100 percent Outsiders. These are foundations and wealthy donors in San Francisco, Seattle and New York. Despite what Haycox wants you to believe, the classic narrative of Outside special interest groups bankrolling the green agenda to destroy jobs and opportunities in Alaska is just as true today as it was in years past.