Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has sent President Donald Trump a wish list of projects for inclusion in a potential federal infrastructure package — roads, ports, assistance for the state’s gas pipeline project and cash to relocate rural villages threatened by climate change.
Walker sent the seven-item list to Trump and Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, on May 15. That was two weeks before Trump said he would pull out of the Paris accord on climate change, a move followed by a muted statement from Walker on the announcement.
The letters and list were obtained through a public records request to Walker’s office.
Walker’s letter to Mulvaney ends with what Walker calls three “additional areas of need in Alaska”: basic sewer and water infrastructure, since 3,300 rural Alaska homes lack flush toilets and running water; assistance for relocating Kivalina, Shaktoolik and Shishmaref, three more erosion-threatened coastal villages; and support for enhanced broadband internet across the state.
Trump touted his plans for a $1 trillion infrastructure package while campaigning, but has yet to lay out a concrete proposal.
He’s expected to give a speech Wednesday as part of an “infrastructure week” in which he’ll lay out broad plans for more state, city and corporate spending on infrastructure — instead of cash from the federal government, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Walker said in his letter to Mulvaney that he expects to send more lists with additional energy, transportation and municipal projects “in the coming months.” Walker has already solicited ideas for additional proposals from local officials across the state, distributing a letter that asks for nominations.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Canada’s new budget thin on Arctic policy substance: expert, Radio Canada International
Denmark/Greenland: Q&A: Impact assessments in the Arctic – What Canada and Greenland can learn from each other, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Finland invites Norway to develop joint Arctic railway project, The Independent Barents Observer
Iceland: Norwegians and Icelanders let Alaskans in on the secrets to economic prosperity, Alaska Dispatch News
Norway: Norway proposes massive opening of Arctic shelf to oil drilling, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Putin sees new big Arctic projects coming, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: First building moved as northern Sweden town is relocated, Radio Sweden
United States: Trump’s Interior secretary vows to reinvigorate Alaska oil industry, Alaska Dispatch News