Even as the first local health care workers in the Delta are being immunized, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to crash in on us, our families & loved ones are taken ill, and our lives are turned upside-down.
So, it’s a real relief to see the most recent Covid bill become law. The help this bill provides is long overdue, and it will support people, businesses and health systems throughout Alaska as we enter winter and our worst surge in infections.
I think it is important to recognize the leadership role Senator Murkowski played in getting the Covid relief bill passed. As one of the prime movers in the “Gang of 8”, she brought together members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to craft a workable bill people could agree on. Then she pushed until it was passed.
Included into the same legislation is another bill, the Energy Act of 2020 which has grant funding for micro-grid development and installation by utilities and electric co-ops. There’s also money for battery storage to increase the usefulness of our wind and solar installations in the rural Alaska. Here again, Senator Murkowski played a critical role: she wrote most of the bill, then shepherded it to passage. It’s the first major energy bill in over a decade.
Senator Murkowski’s leadership was on display in the last days of this Congress; Alaska & America need that kind of bipartisan leadership. I would like to see the Senator’s influence & high regard from both sides of the aisle used to pass an effective and fair climate policy bill in Congress in 2021. Just as we’ve seen how our communities can come together to cope with the pandemic, we also need to tackle the consequences of climate change including the impact on our salmon runs. What would a climate vaccine look like?
Yukon River fisherman (but not THIS year!)
Senators Murkowski and Sullivan Advance Clean Energy Policies – More Work to Come In The New Congress
This year, Republicans in Congress led the charge to pass pro-growth clean energy policies that support a more sustainable environment and competitive economy. As more leaders join in to collaborate on sensible climate solutions, policies out of Washington are becoming increasingly bipartisan. For example, the introduction of the Trillion Trees Act in the Senate was a notable effort by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) to reduce carbon emissions and build an effective forest management process.
This bill – which was supported by U.S. Representative Don Young (R-AK) in the House – goes well-beyond the premise of removing emissions in the atmosphere through the planting of trees – even though this could significantly offset man-made carbon. Rather, it is a comprehensive plan that better establishes forest management and restoration practices across the nation while ensuring trees are planted in the right areas and have proper maintenance to safeguard long-term success. Further, this bill could help stimulate our economy through the creation of new jobs and investments in rural communities.
While it is obvious through the valiant work by Senator Lisa Murkowski to promote clean energy policies – especially after she played an important role in getting the first comprehensive energy package in 13 years across the finish line – it is my hope that she and Senator Dan Sullivan will continue to support bipartisan efforts such as the Trillion Trees Act in the coming Congress to reduce emissions and create a more sustainable environment.