Despite Murkowski’s claims, Alaska Won’t See Benefits of Infrastructure Bill - P.O.W. Report

Monday, October 3, 2022

Despite Murkowski’s claims, Alaska Won’t See Benefits of Infrastructure Bill


By Kelly Tshibaka 


According to an old adage, if you stand in the middle of the road, sooner or later you’ll get run over. That’s exactly what happened when Sen. Lisa Murkowski decided to work with the radical environmentalists in the Biden administration. Murkowski helped write an "infrastructure" bill that was immediately hijacked by Biden administration extremists who are imposing smothering regulations that will likely leave Alaska without the new projects Murkowski promised. 


If you call Murkowski out on this, she gets “combative,” according to the Anchorage Daily News, and it’s little wonder why. After 21 years in a Senate seat she was given by her father when he became governor, she doesn’t like to be questioned, much less criticized. 


But we don’t elect monarchs, we elect public servants we expect to be effective. And the record clearly shows that on the infrastructure bill, as in many other important areas, Lisa Murkowski simply was ineffective. 


Murkowski’s main error was expecting radical environmentalists to act reasonably by not blocking any new roads or bridges. 


However, just a month after President Biden signed the infrastructure law, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) published a memo ordering staff to push states to repair existing roads and bridges before considering building new ones. States are also being told that the use of infrastructure money to build bike lanes and walking paths would undergo a much easier environmental review process than roads and bridges. 


The Wall Street Journal called the infrastructure package a “bait-and-switch” scheme because of the memo from FHA, the agency tasked with receiving construction proposals from states and localities. Indeed, the memo dictates that low priority will be given to projects that “add new general purpose travel lanes serving single occupancy vehicles.”  


That’s as clear it can be: No new roads. 


But the trouble doesn’t end there. The Biden administration's radical environmentalists (all confirmed by Murkowski)  are using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to create new regulations to delay and block new construction projects. Sen. Dan Sullivan sounded the alarm about this on the Senate floor. 


“What did they do? They made the NEPA rules much harder to actually build infrastructure, not just for oil and gas, but it targeted oil and gas. This is for all infrastructure--roads, bridges, ports, renewable projects, LNG projects, natural gas projects,” Sullivan said. “Why in the heck would we do that as a country? We just passed a big infrastructure bill with permitting reform in it, and somebody over at the White House said: ‘No, let's make it harder.’” 


Alaskans should remember all this when Murkowski visits the state to brag about the infrastructure bill she helped write. The radical environmentalists are controlling the flow of money and the things that Alaska needs will be at the bottom of the to-do list. 


In fact, Murkowski has already admitted as much by co-sponsoring Sen. Sullivan’s legislation to repair the NEPA rules mess, which is a clear acknowledgement that the legislation she wrote was completely broken. 


In announcing the legislative fix, Sullivan made it clear that, without it, projects in the infrastructure bill won’t be built. 


The bridges and roads, pipelines and tunnels, ports and runways that American taxpayers were promised will now suffer from an increasing regulatory quagmire,” Sullivan said. 


It’s as simple as this: If the infrastructure bill Murkowski wrote were so great, she wouldn’t have co-sponsored another bill to rescue it. 


But her entire re-election campaign hinges on her authorship of the infrastructure bill, so she conceals all of this from the voters. It’s yet another way she’s lying to Alaskans about her record. 


Because of the bill's $1.2 Trillion price tag, every Alaskan family is on the hook for over $2,000. Alaska is 18% of the nation's landmass, but only 0.6% of the infrastructure funding is even "available" to Alaska, if we survive Biden's regulatory barriers. That means we lost a proportional 17.4% of funds when language was drafted. Over 75% of the bill went towards climate change initiatives, not infrastructure, which has contributed to the crippling inflation plaguing the country. 


It’s a boondoggle that’s nothing more than the Green New Deal in disguise. And Lisa Murkowski didn't just vote for it, she wrote it.  


Because the appropriations process changed a decade ago, there aren’t earmarks or dedicated funds allocated for Alaska, meaning we must compete for federal money. It doesn't help to make funds "available" in the federal bureaucracy if Alaskans can't find the money! When I’m in the Senate, I’ll make sure a grant writer is on staff to help Alaskans successfully access that funding. 


Alaskans agree that it’s time for a change, because when Lisa Murkowski tries to be popular with Joe Biden and the D.C. insiders, , she puts Alaska right in the middle of the road. And Alaskans refuse to keep getting run over. 


Kelly Tshibaka is a born-and-raised Alaskan, and a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alaska who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump and the Alaska Republican Party. 

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