Alaska’s economy was built on a strong oil and gas industry. While that industry will remain a central part of our economy, we cannot rely on oil and gas alone. Alaska is currently facing major economic threats, but there are a number of steps we can take to help our economy today and into the future.
As Alaska’s Senator, I will work tirelessly to fund and improve Alaska infrastructure. Good roads, modern ports, a robust power grid and broadband access throughout the state are the foundations of a modern, competitive economy. The federal government, through its extensive land ownership and financial resources, must play a central role in meeting Alaska’s infrastructure needs.
Alaska’s fisheries are some of the most productive in the world. As Alaska’s Senator, I will fight to protect this key renewable resource and major source of Alaska jobs. This includes providing the resources needed to vigorously implement new laws regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; continuing the exemption for small fishing boats from incidental discharge regulations; and labeling GMO fish so that consumers know what they are buying.
Alaska hosts more than two million visitors each year who come to see some of the most spectacular wild places in the world. Tourism creates thousands of jobs in Alaska and brings billions of dollars into the state. As Alaska’s Senator, I will work hard to support this growing and sustainable industry. We must improve transportation infrastructure, expand Brand USA which markets the United States as an international travel destination, and improve our antiquated visitor visa system. I will also fight for increased funding for the National Parks system in Alaska so that both Alaskans and our visitors can fully enjoy these national treasures.
University of Alaska System
No state succeeds in this information age without a strong university system. This is particularly true for a remote state like Alaska. I have served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alaska. I know how important it is to keep talented young men and women in Alaska through top flight college programs. The University of Alaska should serve as a national and world leader in global warming, global warming mitigation, and alternative energy generation research — all of which will support our economy through research grants and knowledgeable responses to the challenges we face in our Northern climate. Support for our university is an important investment in our future, not simply an expense.