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Republican News

Will Highlight Interior’s Failure to Help the People of King Cove, Alaska

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will hold a pen-and-pad session on Thursday at 2 p.m. to discuss the Department of the Interior’s heartless rejection of a life-saving road for the Alaska Native community of King Cove, Alaska. The pen-and-pad will follow Thursday morning’s committee oversight hearing on options for addressing the continuing lack of reliable emergency medical transportation for the isolated community.

WHAT: Pen & Pad with Chairman Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Rep. Don Young

WHERE: Senate Press Gallery, Room S-316 of the U.S. Capitol 

WHEN: Thursday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m.

RSVP: Michael_Tadeo@energy.senate.gov

Murkowski will be joined by her Alaska congressional colleagues as well as Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and residents of King Cove who will share firsthand accounts of their struggle to receive medical care due to the administration’s rejection of a life-saving 11-mile gravel road.

Background

On December 23, 2013, the Interior Department rejected a life-saving road for the people of King Cove, Alaska. King Cove is an isolated community of Alaska Natives on the southwest end of the Alaska Peninsula, about 625 miles from Anchorage.

The short, one-lane, non-commercial use gravel road sought by King Cove would cross roughly 206 acres (0.07%) of federal wilderness in the 315,000-acre Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and was paired with a nearly 300:1 land exchange in the federal government’s favor. The road is needed to link King Cove (population roughly 1,000) with nearby Cold Bay, which is home to an all-weather airport that is open nearly every day of the year. 

Without the road, King Cove is left at the mercy of the elements, which are often quite dangerous to fly or boat in. The community has endured 42 medevacs since December 2013, including 16 carried out by the Coast Guard.  Nearly all of those medevacs – and lives that were lost due to bad weather in years prior – could have been avoided if a life-saving road was constructed to help provide reliable emergency medical transportation.