US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), recently introduced legislation authorizing a study to determine the feasibility of building a deep water port in the Arctic.
The Arctic Deep Water Sea Port Act would direct the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to conduct the study in an effort to protect US strategic interests in the region.
The two-year study would seek to determine what strategic capabilities a deep water port could provide as well as the best location to site such a facility. It also would look at the resource and time frame needs to establish such a port, given the complex environmental constraints that the Arctic marine environment provides.
The United States needs to be able to guard its territorial claims and its economic interests in the Arctic, especially as a decrease in seasonal ice is leading to increased marine activity in the region. With the high potential for further industrial and commercial activity in the Arctic region, the United States must ensure that it is prepared to protect human life as well as the vulnerable Arctic environment.—Sen. Murkowksi