Murkowski Slams “Unambitious” White House Arctic Plan

Senator Tells President Alaska Must Be a Top Priority for U.S. Arctic Strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today reached out to the Obama administration and expressed her disappointment that its recently-released “Arctic Strategy Implementation Plan” falls far short of America’s needs as the nation slips further behind other nations investing in the region.

The United States is scheduled to become the Chair of the Arctic Council next year, and Senator Murkowski has been working with Cabinet officials, top military brass and international leaders to advocate for a better awareness of Alaska’s Arctic role and the need for action and investment now.   Murkowski also gave the key note address at last week’s Arctic Symposium in Seattle.

In her letter (attached) to the White House, Senator Murkowski notes:

“The Plan did not offer a vision to make the United States a leader in the Arctic, particularly as we prepare for the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in May 2015, nor does it suggest that the Arctic is a national priority.  Instead, the Plan provides a snap shot of existing Arctic-related programs and projects with numerous assessments to be undertaken, but no real path of action. ‘Implementation Plan’ is a misnomer for a document that simply pushes our involvement in the Arctic down the road and does nothing to advance our already lagging role in the region.”

Of the Implementation Plan, Murkowski also writes:

“This unambitious timeline for basic inputs, while consistent throughout the Plan, does nothing more than ensure that our nation will be sorely late in addressing our needs in the region.”