Members of the Alaskan Congressional delegation are coming out in support of today’s release of a National Strategy for the Arctic Region by the Obama administration.
Senator Lisa Murkowski said that, she welcomes the strategy, identifying strategic priorities for the United States in the Arctic Region for the next 10 years, and their top line acknowledgement that America is an Arctic Nation. As the Strategy notes, issues such as circumpolar maritime transit, greater access to resources, and the needs of the indigenous people of the Arctic are coming to the forefront and the Arctic’s importance to the United States as a nation demands greater attention.
Senator Mark Begich Alaska’s lone congressional democrat said that he is pleased this administration responded to our request to recognize the enormous opportunities and challenges in a changing Arctic, saying, “Until now, the U.S. was the only Arctic nation lacking a formal strategy and effort to coordinate federal agencies in their approach to the Arctic. Now the challenge will be committing to the icebreakers, Arctic ports and dedication to science which is vital to sustainable management of the Arctic.”
Representative Don Young, Alaska’s sole member of the U.S. house said, “Finally! It’s about time that the Administration acknowledged the importance of a strong presence in the Arctic. From to shipping to tourism, power projection to resource development, I am glad that the Administration has at least released something that reflects our need to be a leader in the Arctic.”
Young said he was also pleased to see the White House pay special attention to building and maintaining a strong relationship with Alaska Natives on Arctic issues.