Anchorage, AK – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared his thoughts on President Obama’s GLACIER speech and new announcements regarding Arctic infrastructure:
“Yesterday’s song and dance on climate change was exactly what we didn’t want from the President, which was to use Alaska as a prop for an extreme, economy killing, environmental agenda. What could have been an opportunity to highlight a wide range of Arctic needs and infrastructure was instead filled with ‘sky is falling’ rhetoric typical of groups like Greenpeace and Oceana.”
“For too long, this conversation has fallen on deaf ears, which is why my colleagues and I called upon the President to address our nation’s dwindling icebreaker fleet during this visit. I’m encouraged to see the Administration recognize some of the region’s broader needs – Icebreakers, deep water ports and navigational aids – and hope they do their part when it comes to tackling these significant infrastructure hurdles”.
“Moving forward, I ask the President to use his remaining time in Alaska to listen and not lecture, to focus on our various obstacles and challenges, and to truly understand the social and economic realities of Alaska and the Arctic.”
Congressman Young, co-chair of the Congressional Arctic Working Group, recently wrote President Obama to encourage support for a broad range of options to fund, develop and construct new icebreaker vessels, including the use of multi-agency programs to fund the leasing of privately-constructed and privately-owned icebreakers.
Young is a sponsor of H.R. 3214, the National Icebreaker Fund Act of 2015, which would provide an alternative multi-agency, multi-branch funding process for building or leasing new icebreakers to support shipping, resource development, and scientific research in the Arctic.