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Murkowski Announces Senate Passage of Funding for Alaska Projects in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill


$11.96 Million Included for Denali Commission; $1 Million for Alaska Climate Center in Fairbanks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than $54 million in projects for Alaska has been included in the Energy and Water Development spending bill that cleared the full Senate today, according to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which passed by a 85-9 vote, must now be reconciled with the House-passed version.

The bill includes $11.96 million for the Denali Commission. The Denali Commission money would continue to fund a Commission energy program to replace and clean up aging fuel tanks and improve energy generation and transmission systems efficiency.

Also included is a $2 million request for structural and non-structural coastal erosion prevention programs in Alaska and language that would reinstate authority to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake projects to prevent and reduce damage caused by storms, coastal erosion and ice and glacial damage. Included in the bill is a provision authored by Murkowski that would allow the Secretary of the Army to waive or reduce the non-federal cost share requirement if it is determined that communities are unable to contribute sufficient local funding.

The bill also includes $1 million for the Alaska Climate Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to establish a center that would conduct and house research on climate and other weather-related changes in Alaska.

“This bill provides much needed resources to address erosion along Alaska’s coastline,” Murkowski said. “Communities such as Shishmaref and Kivalina face severe erosion problems and these funds will help prevent and mitigate further impacts.

“In addition to erosion prevention, I am pleased to see funds being dedicated to the Alaska Climate Center,” Murkowski added. “Climate change is not a theoretical discussion in Alaska. We can feel and see the changes that are taking place around us and these funds would provide for a central location to make research and information available to state and local governments as well as the private sector.”

The bill provides funding for the following Alaska items:

Department of Energy:

Denali Commission                                                    $11.965 Million

Southwest Alaska Geothermal Project                       $2.5 Million

Alaska Climate Center                                                $1 Million

General Investigations:

Homer Harbor Modification                                         $340,000

Kotzebue Small Boat Harbor                                      $210,000

Matanuska River Watershed                                      $100,000

Valdez Harbor Expansion                                           $385,000

Whittier Harbor                                                            $340,000

Yakutat Harbor                                                            $450,000

Operations and Maintenance:

Anchorage Harbor                                                       $18.659 Million

Alaska Pipeline Coordinator Office Operations          $4.66 Million

Chena River Lakes                                                     $2.816 Million

Dillingham Harbor                                                       $885,000

Homer Harbor                                                             $400,000

Kodiak Harbor                                                             $240,000

Inspection of completed works in Alaska                   $168,000

Nome Harbor                                                              $820,000

Petersburg North Harbor                                            $500,000

Project Conditions Surveys Alaska                            $930,000


St. Paul Harbor                                                           $3 Million

Unalaska                                                                     $2 Million

Alaska Coastal Erosion                                              $2 Million


July 29, 2009

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