The U.S. Senate passed the first funding bill of the year, the FY17 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, in a vote of 90-8 yesterday.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski secured a number of provisions to address Alaska’s unique infrastructure needs and promote an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production.
Murkowski successfully inserted an amendment, supported by Senator Dan Sullivan, that would expand the language of the Remote and Subsistence Harbors provision to take into account not only local needs, but also regional impacts and effects.
“Alaska faces unique transportation and energy challenges – whether it be due to our state’s vast size, remoteness, difficult terrain or harsh climate. The provisions contained in this bill will bring to Alaska much-needed investments in infrastructure and energy innovation,” said Murkowski.
In addition to the Remote and Subsistence Harbors amendment, Murkowski secured the following priorities for Alaska:
Arctic Deep Draft Port Study:
- Secured report language encouraging the Army Corps of Engineers to continue to thoroughly evaluate the proposed deep draft port in Nome, taking into account the wide range of economic benefits the project would bring to the region.
- $7 million in the Section 107 Continuing Authorities Program for the Corps of Engineers to improve navigation, including dredging.
Corps of Engineers Operations and Maintenance Funding:
- $11.8 million for Anchorage Harbor;
- $9.6 million for Chena River Lakes;
- $200,000 for Chignik Harbor;
- $1 million for Dillingham Harbor;
- $462,000 for Homer Harbor;
- $3.1 million for Ketchikan, Thomas Basin;
- $591,000 for Lowell Creek Tunnel (Seward);
- $345,000 for Ninilchik Harbor;
- $2.9 million for Nome Harbor.
Denali Commission: $15 million for the Commission tasked with coordination of construction and infrastructure efforts in rural Alaska.