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.
- But the Alaska Trucking Association supports a similar increase on fuel for cars and trucks.
- Another marijuana grow facility is scheduled to go before the Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday. If approved, it would add to the growing number of licensed cultivators in the capital city.
- There is just under a thousand tons of herring left to catch in the Sitka sac roe herring fishery after the last opening on Saturday.
- "Suddenly everything turned white," one student told local media. A mountaineering training exercise had drawn students and teachers from high schools across the region.