Anchorage, Alaska – The Alaska Senate and House announced today that the Arctic Committees will meet later this week to continue efforts to implement the State’s Arctic Policy. The Senate Special Committee on the Arctic and the House Special Committee on Economic Development, Tourism & Arctic Policy will hold a joint meeting to go over the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission’s recommendations 3A-3H, Healthy Communities. The meeting is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m.
“This specific line of effort from the AAPC implementation plan is very important,” said Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage). “The well-being of our Arctic communities is paramount. Often healthy communities and economic development go hand in hand. I look forward to drilling down into some of the specific recommendations and getting feedback on how our agencies are progressing.”
“As we have seen with the U.S. State Department’s recently completed GLACIER Conference here in Anchorage, the need for continued refinement and advancement of a state-led Arctic policy is extremely important,” said Representative Bob Herron, D-Bethel. “Our past meetings have covered core values of economic opportunity and responsible resource development and ensuring environmental controls are in place. This meeting will bring together state and local leaders to go over something arguably more important: the health of our Arctic people and their communities. I look forward to the discussion and welcome all interested Alaskans to tune in online or attend in person.”
“Healthy communities above all rely on healthy job opportunities for its residents. This meeting comes on the heels of Shell’s departure from Chukchi Sea leases, after $7 billion and seven years of work to access hydrocarbons. As an arctic state Alaskan coastal communities from Seward to Point Hope stood to benefit tremendously from this opportunity,” said Senator Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage. “Alaskans all over our state lament this departure, which represents a blow to economic opportunity and jobs. The abundant resources of Alaska were placed here by our Creator for our use and stewardship. I look forward to continuing to open opportunities to access those resources, with the jobs and improved lifestyle they bring to all Alaskan communities.”
The committees will hear reports from a handful of state agencies, and has set aside time to hear from the public following the presentations. Those interested in providing public testimony should plan on calling the Legislature’s teleconference center at 1-844-586-9085, or show up to the meeting early in Anchorage, or at their regional Legislative Information Office.