WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than $54 million in projects for Alaska has been included in the Energy and Water Development spending bill that cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee today, according to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.
The bill includes $11.96 million for the Denali Commission. The Denali Commission money would continue to fund a Commission energy program to replace and clean up aging fuel tanks and improve energy generation and transmission systems efficiency.
Also included is a $2 million request for structural and non-structural coastal erosion prevention programs in Alaska and language that would reinstate authority to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake projects to prevent and reduce damage caused by storms, coastal erosion and ice and glacial damage. A Murkowski amendment would allow the Secretary of the Army to waive or reduce the non-federal cost share requirement if it is determined that communities are unable to contribute sufficient local funding.
The bill also includes $1 million for the Alaska Climate Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to establish a facility that would conduct and house research on climate and other weather-related changes in Alaska.
“This bill provides much needed resources to address erosion along Alaska’s coastline,” Murkowski said. “Communities such as Shishmaref and Kivalina face severe erosion problems and these funds will help prevent and mitigate further impacts.
“In addition to erosion prevention, I am pleased to see funds being dedicated to the Alaska Climate Center,” Murkowski added. “Climate change is not a theoretical discussion in Alaska. We can feel and see the changes that are taking place around us and these funds would provide for a central location to make research and information available to state and local governments as well as the private sector.”
The bill provides funding for the following Alaska items:
Department of Energy:
Denali Commission $11.965 Million
Southwest Alaska Geothermal Project $2.5 Million
Alaska Climate Center $1 Million
Homer Harbor Modification $340,000
Kotzebue Small Boat Harbor $210,000
Matanuska River Watershed $100,000
Valdez Harbor Expansion $385,000
Whittier Harbor $340,000
Yakutat Harbor $450,000
Operations and Maintenance:
Anchorage Harbor $18.659 Million
Alaska Pipeline Coordinator Office Operations $4.66 Million
Chena River Lakes $2.816 Million
Dillingham Harbor $885,000
Homer Harbor $400,000
Kodiak Harbor $240,000
Inspection of completed works in Alaska $168,000
Nome Harbor $820,000
Petersburg North Harbor $500,000
Project Conditions Surveys Alaska $930,000
St. Paul Harbor $3 Million
Unalaska $2 Million
Alaska Coastal Erosion $2 Million