Murkowski's support for Obamacare could backfire on Alaska
Long-awaited projects in Alaska — including the potentially life-saving King Cove road and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — are now in jeopardy as President Trump reportedly looks for revenge on the state and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in particular after her vote against the GOP health care bill earlier this week.Obamacare was a terrible law that has done great harm to millions and is collapsing of its own weight and it just seems irrational to support it, especially for Republicans who have pledged to repeal it. It appears that this vote will be very costly for Alaska.
The Alaska Dispatch News reported late Wednesday night that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke phoned Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican, and delivered a “troubling message” on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop,” Mr. Sullivan told the outlet. “I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans. … We’re facing some difficult times and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy. But the message was pretty clear.”
The Interior Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Specifically, the nominations of Alaskans to prominent positions inside the administration could stop, according to the report. Also, the King Cove road — which would connect the isolated community of King Cove to a nearby all-weather airport, potentially savings lives in the process — could be in jeopardy.
The Interior Department must sign off on the project, which was advanced in the House last week in a bipartisan vote. Ms. Murkowski has been a leading voice in favor of the project for years, and prior to this week’s health care vote she’d said the administration had been in favor of moving forward.
The Trump administration also had supported opening up areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, which could be a financial boon for Alaska, as well as a job creator. Mr. Trump even called for such energy exploration in his budget blueprint.
It appears that project, too, is now in jeopardy.