• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 51s

Murkowski tells lawmakers to fight back against federal overreach

By Rhonda McBride 6:44 AM February 20, 2014

“Man the dozers,” said Senate President Charlie Huggins.

JUNEAU – Sen. Lisa Murkowski told the state Legislature she’s worn a lot of hats over the years, but she’s ready to put on a new one.

“In addition to my role as mediator and ambassador and all that, I can also be a hellraiser,” said Murkowski, who vented to lawmakers about her battle with the U.S. Department of the Interior over a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

“I’m going to channel my inner Ted Stevens, and we’re going to get this road,” said the Republican senator.

Murkowski called the interior department’s refusal to allow a 10-mile road from King Cove to Cold Bay “heartless and absolutely wrong.”

“It is emblematic as to how the federal government believes that it has to somehow protect Alaska from Alaskans,” Murkowski said. “That we can’t be counted on to be good stewards of the land, that we can’t somehow be trusted with that. There is far more at stake here than a road.”

The road, as proposed, would be used only in emergencies to avoid dangerous medevacs out of King Cove.

Murkowski said interior department officials told her to “get over it,” and that there would be no road.

In a news conference after her speech, Murkowski was asked if she would support an act of civil disobedience by the community.

“I have told the people of King Cove I am going to do everything within my power to help,” said Murkowski, promising to find ways to force the interior department and the Obama administration to revisit this issue. She said she could do this by holding up nominees for appointments or through direct confrontation.

“I am going to take it to that level. If the people of King Cove believe, perhaps rightly so, that civil disobedience is what it will take to get a level of attention to this, you’re not going to find me standing in the way,” Murkowski said.

It’s not clear in what way King Cove could defy the federal government.  A spokesperson for the Aleutians East Borough said via email that it has nothing to say about the potential for civil disobedience, but the borough remains committed to trying to convince the interior department it has a responsibility to provide safe access to Cold Bay.

From timber to resource development to Shell Oil’s battles over offshore development, Murkowski gave lawmakers a long list of what she considers federal overreach and called on lawmakers to be more aggressive in fighting for development and protecting state rights.

On the Senate floor later in the day, Sen. Click Bishop, a Fairbanks Republican, brought up the battle over the King Cove road. He said he thought it was disrespectful for a senator to be told “to get over it.”

Bishop said he would have called back to say he had slept on it, got past it — 10 miles past it.

“Man the bulldozers,” Senate President Charlie Huggins responded.

Perhaps lawmakers were channeling the late Gov. Wally Hickel, who cut a road through wilderness, crossing the Brooks Range and ending at Prudhoe Bay. The road was completed in 1969, with Hickel under fire from national environmental organizations.

Modern environmental groups seek to protect the Izembek refuge, which they call critical habitat for birds.  They also say allowing a road in one refuge would open the door to other roads elsewhere.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans: Be bear aware with fish waste

    by Megan Edge on Jun 29, 13:50

    Fishermen, watch where you waste. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking you to dispose of any leftover fish parts and pieces in the appropriate areas. Tossing waste in the wrong places can be dangerous for bears and humans, plus it could lead to a fine. “It’s fishing season and folks need to […]

  • Crime

    Teens suspected in kidnapping, robbery attempt in Eagle River

    by Associated Press on Jun 29, 13:50

    Three teenagers are being held on suspicion of kidnapping an Eagle River resident during a robbery attempt. Alaska State Troopers say two of the teens, a 19-year-old and an 18-year-old, are from Wasilla. They say a 17-year-old will be waived to adult status in the case. Troopers say that at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, the […]

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: 10 skills to master to impress an employer

    by Daybreak Staff on Jun 29, 12:40

    Getting a job is all about knowing what to do and what not to do in order to get that interview, then climb the ladder, especially as the state’s job force becomes more competitive. Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium’s (APICC) outreach coordinator meets with businesses statewide to get a better feel for the workforce. Martha […]

  • News

    Showing some skin: Army says sleeves can now be rolled up

    by KTVA 11 News on Jun 29, 12:16

    Just in time for the summer heat, the U.S. Army has granted permission for soldiers to roll up their sleeves. Now, commanders may give the green light to soldiers to roll up the sleeves on their Army combat uniforms. The authorization, effective immediately, was signed into action on June 28, according to an Army release. […]

  • DayBreak

    Doctor heals Alaskans with regenerative medicine

    by Daybreak Staff on Jun 29, 11:46

    An innovative treatment that could eventually improve stubborn injuries like tennis elbow and knee tendonitis is now being offered in Alaska. It’s called regenerative medicine. Dr. Matthew Peterson, medical director at Algone Interventional Pain Clinic, said regenerative medicine utilizes the patients own blood to help them heal. Peterson went on to say it processes the […]

  • News

    Turkish PM outlines bombers’ airport attack tactics

    by CBS/AP on Jun 29, 11:39

    Last Updated Jun 29, 2016 3:00 PM EDT Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday one of the attackers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport blew himself up outside, giving the other two the opportunity to get inside the building. “When the terrorists couldn’t pass the regular security system, when they couldn’t pass the scanners, police and security controls, […]

  • Politics

    Gov. Walker caps this year’s PFD checks at $1,000

    by Liz Raines on Jun 29, 11:20

      Updated at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29 ANCHORAGE — In an unprecedented move, Gov. Bill Walker announced Wednesday morning he’s partially vetoing funding for the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks this fall – cutting them to $1,000 instead of an estimated $2,000 under current calculations. “The cuts we’re making are difficult, but we’re […]

  • Crime

    Woman who knew victim found in crash says she ‘knew something was wrong’

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 29, 9:29

    The last time Geraldine Turner saw 30-year-old Jacqueline Goodwin was Sunday when Goodwin spent the night in her home, which used to be an assisted living center. “She would go and come and go and come and go,” Turner said. She said for 14 years, she was like a mother to Goodwin, who didn’t have a […]