FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Democrats Disappointed by Failure to Extend Alaska Coastal Management Program
Program’s demise threatens jobs, development, local control
House Democrats are disappointed today by the unraveling of the special session to retain the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP). Democrats said abandoning the ACMP will directly affect Alaskans by killing jobs, impeding development and decreasing state and local control in Alaska.
Democratic Leader Rep. Beth Kerttula said, “It’s unfathomable to me that Alaska, with more coastline that the rest of the country combined, will be the only coastal state without a coastal management program. The loss of the ACMP will be felt around the state. The state and coastal communities will lose their power over the permitting process on federal lands and in federal waters in Alaska. The Division of Coastal & Ocean Management provided essential services that streamlined and coordinated the permitting process. Loss of the program will decrease permitting efficiency and discourage investment by small independent companies that don’t have entire legal divisions to deal with permitting.”
Democratic Whip Rep. Berta Gardner said, “What we really needed was leadership to put together a deal to keep control of Alaska’s resources in Alaskans’ hands. This outcome demonstrates a lack of leadership from the governor.”
Finance member Rep. Les Gara said, “We had quick, coordinated permitting and the right to follow state law and to listen to local communities. That will be replaced by slower permitting, federal laws and decisions made solely by federal bureaucrats. Today was a bad day for Alaska.”