Instead, she joined Bethel residents in celebrating the annual Kuskokwim River breakup, which was the earliest on record.
Though people shared hot dogs and experienced live music and Yuraq dance, the river’s early breakup was another example of climate change taking a toll on the region.
“It is a reality that we are seeing,” Murkowski said.
Democrats and Republicans are divided on how the country should tackle climate change in Congress. Many Democrats back the Green New Deal, which is not yet a bill but a proposal to reconfigure the U.S. economy to tackle inequality and climate change.
Republicans like Murkowski think that’s too idealistic.
“What I’m trying to focus on is leading on an analysis and assessment of what is some of the pragmatic solutions that we’re putting in place now,” Murkowski said.
Comparatively, those solutions are modest: Invest more in technologies like nuclear energy, and don’t single out solar energy and wind energy as the only renewable technologies that would cut down on emissions.
“I want to make sure I don’t leave people with the idea that there’s one silver bullet. I don’t. I think there are many,” Murkowski said.
Each one, she said, should be affordable and tailored to a specific place.
Murkowksi is also not a fan of subsidies for renewable energy from the federal government, but she does support natural resource development — including oil, the biggest extraction industry in Alaska.
Before her visit to Bethel, Murkowski wrapped up a hearing in Washington, D.C., with the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on climate change. She said that she hopes that hearing will push the conversation forward.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
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- The City and Borough of Juneau announced Katie Koester as the new public works and engineering director on Monday. Former Director Mike Vigue retired earlier this month.
- According to the U.S. Postal Service, White Mountain has been without regular postal deliveries since late October, after the rural Alaska community's postmaster left her position.
- There’s no mine yet at the Palmer Project site. But a small cadre of scientists live there for half the year, looking for minerals.
- An Anchorage dentist is on trial for felony criminal counts of Medicaid fraud and reckless endangerment over — among other allegations — performing dentistry while on a hoverboard.