Sullivan wants Interior secretary to address ‘critical issues’ for Alaska

Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, spoke about the four "critical issues" he hopes Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will address on her trip to Alaska this week.
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 7:28 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - In his annual address to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, has spoken about four “critical issues” he wants to hear Interior Secretary Deb Haaland address in her visit to Alaska this week.

North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower Jr. and Sullivan penned an opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News last week making a similar request:

  • That oil and gas lease sales proceed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For the Biden administration to “honor its commitment” to support the Willow Project so development work begin next winter.
  • Show support for the proposed 11-mile King Cove Road to Cold Bay through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Support Vietnam War-era Alaska Native veterans who have missed out on land allotments.

Sullivan voted, along with fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, to confirm Haaland as secretary of the Department of the Interior in 2021. He has been heavily critical of the Biden administration’s energy policies since then, saying the president has had an anti-Alaska agenda.

When asked whether he regretted his confirmation vote for Haaland, Sullivan said on Tuesday that his “vote for her was not some kind of endorsement.

“My vote for her was to try to work with her in good faith to establish a relationship because the secretary of the Interior is so darn important to Alaska,” he continued.

Almost 3,000 Vietnam-era Alaska Native vets have missed out on land allotments owed to them. Sullivan said he expects Haaland to unveil a new policy during her Alaska trip, addressing the issue.

Murkowski and Sullivan both wrote to her last week, urging her not to call for another environmental review process, as the two senators say that would further delay the land allotments being completed.

“If she comes here, and announces an environmental assessment for these Alaska Native Vietnam vets, my answer would be 100% yes, I regret it,” Sullivan said about his confirmation vote for Haaland.

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