Thursday, February 28, 2013

Senator Murkowski says will not back down in Alaska road fight

The top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee said on Wednesday she would not back down in her drive to reverse a finding by the Interior Department that blocks construction of an emergency road for a remote Alaskan community. The fight threatens to hold up the White House's nomination of Sally Jewell as Interior Secretary. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she would use "every tool in her tool box," including placing a hold on Jewell's nomination, if the department does not allow the road to be built. The committee is slated to consider Jewell's nomination on March 7. "This is about the safety of the people I represent," Murkowski told reporters at a briefing. "This is an issue I will not back down from." Residents of King Cove, Alaska - population 938 as of the 2010 Census - were hoping a road would be constructed through 206 acres of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to an airport in nearby Cold Bay for emergency medical evacuations. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an arm of the Interior Department, issued an environmental assessment this month saying the road would "irretrievably damage" the ecology of the refuge and its ability to support native wildlife...more

No comments: