Web Survey Reveals Alaskans Overwhelmingly Support Arctic Development, Alaska LNG Project
Respondents also prioritized capital improvements and decried the actions of the NSA
JUNEAU-A web survey just wrapped up by Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) shows the Legislature is moving in the right direction on several major issues including Arctic policy, the LNG pipeline, infrastructure priorities and issues with the National Security Agency (NSA).
First, a stunning 87-percent of Alaskan respondents said they agree the key to Alaska’s future is in additional opportunities for shipping, tourism and resource development due to melting sea ice.
“Whether it’s natural resource development, additional shipping routes, or tourism, developing the Arctic is truly the final frontier,” said Senator McGuire. “I am thrilled to see the majority of Alaskans also see these new opportunities and just like Americans worked together to plant our flag on the Moon, I look forward to working together with Alaskans to stake our claim in the Arctic.”
Senator McGuire serves along with Representative Bob Herron (D-Bethel) as Co-Chair of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC). As a result of the AAPC’s work over the past year, Senator McGuire introduced Senate Bill 140, which creates incentives for private building of ports, roads, and other critical projects in the Arctic. The House Labor and Commerce Committee passed SB140 on Monday and it is now in the House Finance Committee for further consideration.
The survey also found a large majority of Alaskans, 66-percent, support the State taking an equity share in the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. Senate Bill 138, passed last month by the Senate and currently in the House Finance Committee, sets a roadmap forward for building a large-diameter gasline to supply domestic gas to Alaskans and export Alaska gas to Asian-Pacific markets. Senator McGuire added a provision to the bill which would essentially allow Alaskans to buy stock in the gasline.
“As a little girl growing up in Alaska, I had a front row seat as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) was built,” said Senator McGuire. “I was filled with enthusiasm and hope as I saw the project create thousands of jobs in our great state, with Alaskans building one of the biggest engineering feats in North America. Now, through this LNG project, we once again have that chance and I am excited to see the majority of Alaskans are getting excited about participating too.”
Next, the survey asked what Alaskans would consider their top priority when it comes to capital improvements around the State. An overwhelming 95-percent of respondents said they would put roads, public safety, infrastructure projects, and social services at the top of the list.
“Sports and recreation, as well as arts and culture, remain very important to the fabric of what makes Alaska the unique and awesome place we all love to call home,” said Senator McGuire. “But this shows me, Alaskans are most focused on core government services as the State has to tighten its belt in the face of dwindling revenues. People are saying we need to fix and maintain the critical assets we have rather than putting money towards new non-essential facilities.”
Finally, 78-percent of survey respondents said they find the NSA’s efforts to collect the personal phone records of Americans to be unacceptable.
“The NSA’s actions are abhorrent and intolerable,” said Senator McGuire. “What they are doing is one of the most egregious examples of Federal Overreach and I enthusiastically support the Legislature’s Resolution urging the Federal Government to end the NSA’s mass telephone data collection program.”