Murkowski Reacts to Joint U.S. - Canada Arctic Announcements

Administration Fixates on Climate Change, At Expense of Other Alaska Priorities

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement in the wake of the joint announcements made by President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“I join my fellow Americans in welcoming Canada’s new prime minister to our nation’s capital.  At the same time, as an Alaskan, the announcements made today fall far short of the holistic vision needed for the Arctic and its people. 

“My long-standing criticism of the Obama Administration is that it sees the Arctic through the singular lens of climate change. It has failed – for almost eight years, today included – to account for the full range of issues and needs in the region. 

“Although the joint statement makes topical reference to consultation with indigenous people and the incorporation of traditional knowledge into decision-making, it also implies unjustifiable limits that will leave Alaskans standing at the door, rather than seated at the table, on Arctic policy.                                                                                                                                          

“The joint statement also threatens the continued development of oil and gas in the Arctic – including resources on State or Native land – and appears to give Canada at least partial veto power over our sovereign development decisions. That, to me, is simply stunning. Rather than upholding the promises enacted into law through ANCSA and ANILCA, the Obama Administration clearly plans to evade and ignore them.    

“I will continue working with Senator Sullivan, Congressman Young, and all Alaskans to advance our shared goals – including gaining access to our federal areas, establishing a predictable regulatory environment for development, and securing revenue sharing to support adaptation to the impacts of a changing climate.”