Member of President Obama's Cabinet and Head of the Coast Guard Visit Alaska
Napolitano stressed the importance of Alaska as the only Arctic state.
ALASKA - A member of President Obama's cabinet and the head of the Coast Guard continued their visit to Alaska in Anchorage Wednesday, pledging support for continued infrastructure improvements related to homeland security and off-shore oil drilling.
Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and Admiral Robert Papp Junior, Commandant of the Coast Guard, held a news conference with U.S. Senators Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
"Human activity is going to be increasing in that area,” said Napolitano. “It's not just about oil and gas, as important as oil and gas are. It is about all the other resources that need to transit the arctic region and all of the players that need to have a say in a long-term strategy for the United States with respect to the region."
Papp expressed confidence that a Shell containment barge will get certification in time for the company to conduct planned drilling this summer in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
"I'm confident and also proud of the preparations we've done up there, and I think we're ready for drilling, once we get that last containment system finished,” said Papp.
Napolitano, Papp and Landrieu traveled with Begich and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski to Cold Bay and Kodiak as well.