A Road to Somewhere

Monday, November 17, 2008

Regarding the Nov. 9 news story "Proposed Road in Refuge Raises Fears About Drilling":

King Cove, Alaska, seeks a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to access the all-weather airport at Cold Bay, Alaska, for life safety.

Della Trumble of King Cove's federally recognized Indian tribe explained to a Senate subcommittee, "Since 1979, 11 people have died flying between King Cove and Cold Bay in bad weather. Even today, pregnant women must leave town and temporarily relocate to Anchorage for six to nine weeks before their due date for fear of unpredictable weather, premature labor and complications."

That's why the National Congress of American Indians endorsed my bill to exchange more than 61,000 acres of state and Native American land for a 206-acre road corridor.

The residents of King Cove and I are offended by the suggestion that the road would be used to support offshore oil drilling. The bill was amended in the Senate Energy Committee limiting the road to non-commercial use. Moreover, the oil industry has expressed no interest in King Cove to support possible offshore energy exploration. I am disappointed that The Post uncritically published this red herring.


U.S. Senator (R-Alaska)


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