The U.S. Senate is expected to a pass a sweeping bill authorizing dozens of water projects Wednesday.
Included is a provision that Alaska’s senators say could ease the way to an Arctic port.
The Senate agreed by unanimous consent – meaning the chamber found it to be noncontroversial enough that it didn’t require a vote – to allow private companies to partner with the federal government in deep port construction.
Senator Mark Begich says over the last few months many shipping companies and other investors have expressed interest in possibly building an Arctic port. But federal rules make it too difficult to form public-private partnerships with the Army Corps of Engineers.
He says this amendment, sponsored by both he and Senator Lisa Murkowski, will ease the burden for private companies.
“It allows for some flexibility for port development in Alaska that can tap into private sector resources to build ports with federal, and or state governments, and the Corps is part of the equation.”
While the delegation is hopeful for infrastructure prospects in the Arctic, this bill only authorizes the partnerships.
It does not appropriate any money for specific projects.
- The Washington Post’s style section reports that Jose DelReal was blocked Wednesday from covering a campaign event for vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Wisconsin.
- The Republican presidential nominee faced a day of harsh criticism from across the political spectrum for appearing to urge Russia to hack his Democratic rival's email.
- The Ketchikan School Board approved a new policy Wednesday establishing programs to help reduce child abuse and sexual assault. There was no discussion before the unanimous roll-call vote in favor of the policy, which calls for age-appropriate information for students in all grade levels to teach about appropriate conduct, and resources available for students.
- The United Fishermen of Alaska is working on a project to figure out what issues the salmon fleet is concerned about – and how to reach them.