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Murkowski Focusing Senate on Coast Guard’s Arctic Needs, Agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee has formally scheduled a hearing for May 9th on the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2013 budget – and the Alaskan priorities reflected in it like icebreakers, aircraft and deepwater ports – after Senator Murkowski requested the chairwoman and ranking member hold this imperative discussion.

“Alaskans and Americans are born pioneers – and the Arctic is one of the last frontiers to be fully understood and developed,” said Murkowski.  “As the waters begin opening to possibilities in research, resource development and revenue, we need the Coast Guard’s help in protecting all that we hold dear.  Part of that is by making sure my Senate colleagues fully understand we are an Arctic Nation, and that the Coast Guard’s mission in the Arctic must be a top priority.”

In a February letter (attached) to Subcommittee Chair Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Ranking Member Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), Murkowski said “One of the areas I’m particularly interested in is the Coast Guard’s mission to safeguard U.S. interests in the Arctic.  The Arctic offers new opportunities for resource development and shipping routes that may reshape the global transport system … I believe we should consider whether the Coast Guard has the operational resources, support facilities and the calculated locations for their Arctic and other missions.”

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