Alaska residents sue over plans for strip coal mine

A citizens group has filed a lawsuit over a proposal to develop a large strip coal mine across Cook Inlet from Alaska's largest city.

The Chuitna Citizens NO-COALition filed an appeal in state Superior Court on Monday, challenging a decision by the state commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources not to consider their petition to designate the land within the Chuitna River watershed as unsuitable for the coal mine.

PacRim Coal wants to develop the mine on the west side of Cook Inlet. The site is 45 miles west of Anchorage. The company hopes to pull out 300 million metric tons of sub-bituminous coal, roughly equal to the energy of a billion barrels of oil, over 25 years. But the group said the proposal threatens more than 55 square miles of wildlife and fish.

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