Murkowski Responds to GAO Arctic Report

Senator: Document Should Serve as “Wake-Up Call”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to the Government Accountability Office’s report on Maritime Infrastructure: Key Issues Related to Commercial Activity in the U.S. Arctic in the Next Decade, saying:

“I appreciate the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for its focus on our nation’s Arctic Maritime Infrastructure needs, though I disagree with the suggestion that our development and activity are not on the rise. Given the substantial lack of Arctic infrastructure, now is the time for the United States to invest in its long-term Arctic future. The United States must promote public private partnerships to facilitate the large scale and long term investment needs of the Arctic region. The face of our communities in the North is actively changing with new economic opportunities being pursued in the region.

“I thank the GAO for identifying the enormous need we have for mapping and charting our nation’s Arctic waterways. The shocking fact that we have surveyed less than 1% of our critical northern waters should be a wakeup call to decision makers that we must demonstrate vision and act now.

“The federal interagency Committee on the Marine Transportation System’s (CMTS) identification of 70 action items in their report with a decision timetable of next year is a refreshingly proactive and thorough approach for this nation in leveraging its Arctic future.  I look forward to working closely with the CMTS and being updated on their progress as they advance this critical conversation.”