Murkowski: “Alaska is Not Just the Last Frontier. It is Truly Our Best Option.”

Murkowski Floor Speech Focuses on Broken Promises, Alaskan Aspirations

Washington, DC – At times educational and historic, other times scathing and critical, Senator Lisa Murkowski today took to the U.S. Senate floor to commemorate the 144th anniversary of Alaska Day. She set a sober tone early in the speech when she shared that she is “worried about the future of Alaska – not because of the global economy, not because of high unemployment levels, but because of the treatment we experience at the hands of our own federal government.”

The Senator then reminded her colleagues of the 1958 U.S. Senate’s official Committee Report on the Alaska Statehood Act, and the promises made from the federal government through President Carter and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or ANILCA – before calling ANILCA “the worst broken promise the federal government has ever made to the state of Alaska.”

After that, she ran through a litany of opportunities missed, or being missed.  Alaska’s mines, Alaska’s timber industry, and Alaska’s oil and gas potential were all mentioned. “No matter the project, we have to fight the federal government for access and permission every step of the way,” Murkowski said. “Federal agencies are attempting to subvert Supreme Court decisions.  Senators from other states are attempting to halt mines that have not even been proposed.  Permits are delayed, withheld, or outright refused.  Drilling cannot take place in areas that Congress explicitly designated for drilling, including a national petroleum reserve.” 

Senator Murkowski closed on a hopeful note, however. “So today, on the 144th anniversary of Alaska Day, I ask the Senate to pause for a moment and consider the promises that were made to us.  To realize that those promises have not been kept, but broken, to the detriment of both Alaska and our nation as a whole.  This must be changed by the realization that partnership, not abject denial, is the best path forward.  If the federal government keeps its promises, Alaska will realize its potential, grow as a state, and secure its future.”