Save the Susitna campaign: Winter '15 update

Susitna River at sunset. Photo by Ryan Peterson
By: Jenny Lynes
The Save the Susitna campaign worked hard during 2014 to increase public awareness concerning the threats of the Susitna dam, both to the state’s budget and Susitna fishery. In December, thanks in part to the hard work of the TU campaign and the talented coalition, this hard work paid off. The new Walker Administration ordered a halt to spending on the state’s proposed mega-projects including the Susitna dam last December. With that announcement, the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) requested the federal licensing process for Susitna Dam be put on hold, and AEA’s request was grated. With this news, the Save the Susitna campaign will continue to work hard to keep the state legislature from funding this project during this legislative session.  
Throughout the fall and winter, the Campaign hosted screenings of the award winning film, DamNation, as well as helped maintain a constant media presence in order to spread the word about Susitna and elevate public understanding about the impacts of the dam to the Susitna River and its fisheries. 
In order to facilitate public analysis of the risks of the project, the campaign released the report called, Dreams, Risks, and Realities: An Economic Analysis of Plans to Dam Alaska’s Susitna River prepared by long time Alaskan economist Gregg Erickson. In the report, Erickson analyzed the full cost of the project and identified significant costs that AEA had not assessed or disclosed to legislators and Alaskans in their project estimates. Faced with a significant financial deficit and inundation of damning facts about the proposal, the Administration’s choice to halt progress of the Susitna dam was the smart course for the state.
We will continue to keep our Save the Susitna friends abreast of this effort on our Facebook page.
News Highlights: 
Gov. Walker halts megaprojects, Juneau Empire 12/28/14
Jenny Lynes is the Communications & Online Advocacy Coordinator for TU's Alaska Program in Anchorage.

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