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Legislature Approves Arctic Infrastructure Package

SB140 creates incentives to build ports, roads, and emergency and telecommunication projects in the Arctic

JUNEAU- Today, the Alaska State Legislature passed Senate Bill 140, sponsored by Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage), which is designed to boost infrastructure development in the Arctic. SB140 creates incentives to attract private investment to build much needed ports, roads, emergency and telecommunications projects in the Alaskan Arctic. SB140 came out of the work completed by the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC), co-chaired by Senator McGuire and Representative Bob Herron (D-Bethel).

“This bill is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by the members of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission,” said Senator McGuire. “As we traveled the state to listen to the people in the communities, the one recurring theme was the need for Arctic infrastructure. This bill sends the message to the Federal Government that we feel fortifying and strengthening our assets in the Arctic is critical and we are not afraid to lead this massive undertaking.”

SB 140 expands the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s (AIDEA) tool bag by extending the same authority for loans, loan guarantees, bonds and bond guarantees that it currently utilizes in the energy sector via the SETS fund in order to develop Infrastructure in the Arctic. The Sustainable Energy Transmission and Supply Development Fund (SETS) was created by Senator McGuire in 2012 under Senate Bill 25. The financing tools in SETS are currently leading to the first commercialization of Alaska’s North Slope natural gas while bringing much needed energy relief to Interior Alaska in the form of LNG trucking to Fairbanks. 

“This bill gives AIDEA the tools it needs to reach out to the people who are looking to invest in the North. Right now, there is an estimated $100 billion of private capital that is looking for investment opportunities in the Arctic,” said Senator McGuire. “Alaska is what makes the U.S. an Arctic Nation. This bill helps establish Alaska, and by extension the U.S., as a leader in the Arctic and positions us to capitalize on the massive new opportunities and challenges coming our way such as shipping, tourism, safety, and responsible resource development.”

For more information about the AAPC’s mission and work, click here.

SB140 now heads to Governor Sean Parnell for his signature.

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