Recently I heard our senior senator on the radio talking about the Department of Interior denying a permit to build the road from King Cove to Cold Bay. She was past the point of indignant and worked herself up into a frenzy that the federal government would have the audacity to do such a thing. She again and again made the point that this was Obama’s fault that this project was not approved. And that this was a clear indication of government over reach against the will of the people.
It is unfortunate that she forgets that the residents of King Cove and Cold Bay have been working this issue well before the Obama administration, even before the eight year Bush administration with the four years of Republican control of White House and Congress. While the residents of the area do need better access to emergency services, our senior senator should remember that the majority of Alaskan communities have the same problem, Seldovia, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Tyonek to name a few. Maybe they all need improved airports, or roads connecting them to a community that does, that would be great.
Where I lose confidence in my senior senator is that she seems more willing to spout righteous indignation rather than find ways to address the problem. If the road between King Cove and Cold Bay cost $20 million to design and build, and the decades old project will not be approved, what can she do with that money? Improve the harbor infrastructure of the communities to improve the access? Improve the onsite health care facilities and create jobs and a healthier quality of life for King Cove? Improve the existing airport at King Cove?
She is absolutely right that Washington is broken, but she misses the point that it is broken because our legislators would rather rant and rave about whose fault it is rather than look to find solutions to real problems that our Alaskan communities face everyday.