Murkowski Delivers Welcoming Remarks at GLACIER Conference

Calls on Attendees to Respect the People of the Arctic, Ensure Actions Advance Their Interests

Senator Lisa Murkowski tonight called on policymakers to listen to, respect, and advance the interests of the roughly four million people who live in the Arctic during her opening remarks at the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER). 

“As you gather for the GLACIER conference, I want to highlight one aspect of Arctic policy that I hope will be at the forefront of the discussion – the people who live in the region, and their need for sustainable economic activity,” Murkowski said during a welcoming reception held at the Anchorage Museum.

Murkowski noted that oil development on the North Slope has led to an estimated 200 years’ worth of economic development in just 30 years, rapidly and dramatically raising the standard of living for thousands who reside above the Arctic Circle. 

“As a result of responsible resource development, more people on the North Slope now have medical clinics that provide care for themselves and their loved ones,” Murkowski said. “They have improved telecommunication and search and rescue equipment for hunting parties that previously might have disappeared on the ice, never to be heard from again. And they have access to other modern amenities – like flush toilets – that the rest of the U.S. takes for granted.” 

Murkowski urged the policymakers attending the conference to broaden their attention to a range of challenges affecting the Arctic, and to recognize that the development of traditional resources is one of the best ways to empower Alaskans to secure long-term prosperity. As Murkowski wrote in a letter to President Obama last week, conventional resource development is also one of the best ways to ensure that Alaskans can continue to pioneer new forms of energy.

The GLACIER conference is hosted by the U.S. Department of State and runs from Aug. 30-31 in Anchorage. President Barack Obama, other U.S. government officials, and representatives from the seven other Arctic nations are among those scheduled to participate in the conference.