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Dear Fellow Alaskan,

With the passing of Don Young, Alaskans must choose a new representative to serve our state in the US
Congress. Don represented Alaska for 49 years and I am grateful for his tireless service and unrelenting
commitment to our state. Now we must move forward and select a new Alaskan US representative. I am
asking you, as an Alaskan, to consider electing me to this important office.
I’m not a career politician. I’m a lifetime Alaskan, a doctor and a commercial fisherman. I learned about
public service at a young age. My father, Avrum, was Attorney General for Governor Jay Hammond, the
father of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend. My mother, Shari, was the first Executive Director of the
United Fishermen of Alaska and founded the League of Women Voters in Alaska. They instilled in me
strong Alaskan convictions – toughness, resilience, and independence. After I completed my orthopedic
surgery medical training, I returned to Alaska with my wife Monica, a pediatrician, and built a successful
surgical practice. We worked as doctors and raised our family in Juneau and provided healthcare for
Alaskans for nearly 25 years. When I saw what health care costs were doing to my patients and other
Alaskans, I left my practice, got a master’s in public health and began to advocate for lower healthcare
costs and system reform. This eventually led me to the decision to run for public office.

If you elect me to Congress, my top priority in office will be to fight for projects for Alaska in a way that
best helps grow our economy. I will be a strong fighting voice for Alaska, just as Don Young was. Also, I
will work hard to reduce health care costs which will help grow our state’s economy. My economic plan
proposed here addresses our state’s challenges and proposes a number of solutions. As we make Alaska
more affordable and competitive, we can build the next great economy here. I believe we can propel the
Last Frontier into the NEXT Frontier in the 21st Century, because Alaska is at the intersection of four
critical global economic themes that are discussed in my plan: National Security, Environment, Xtremes,
and Technology.

As your United States representative, I will remain a strong Independent voice and will always put
Alaskans first. I believe that the two-party system is truly broken, and it’s time for real bipartisanship; I
will not be seeking the endorsement of either the Democratic or Republican Party. As a true
Independent, I will prioritize the needs of our state, not party politics, and work for an Alaska that is
strong and vibrant.

I will fight tirelessly to lead our state’s economy into an era of robust growth so Alaskan families can
thrive for generations to come. I will be a representative who knows our state, is from our state, and
who really cares about you.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about my plan. Please contact me with any questions or thoughts
that you have about how we can move Alaska forward together.

Al Gross
2022 Candidate United States Congress

Executive Summary
Alaska is a unique and amazing place, but in recent years our economy has been failing.
Inflation has made the cost of goods and services higher than ever before. Meanwhile, as
unemployment rates have fallen dramatically in the rest of the country since the Great
Recession, they have remained higher in Alaska and more-or-less steady. In addition, the
availability of qualified workers is dropping relative to the Lower-48. There are several reasons
for these trends, including:

• Our per capita health care costs have been soaring for the last 20 years while they have
remained essentially stable elsewhere; our annual per capita health care expenditures
are more than $11,000, with hospital care now 50% above the national average, and
physician and clinical services up to 80% higher. This is overburdening for individual
Alaskans. Further, as one of the highest costs of doing business in our state, it decreases
our competitiveness when compared to the Lower-48 and creates a significant drag on
our economy. With my expertise in public health issues, I am uniquely qualified to
deliver real reform to provide affordable health care for all Alaskans.
• The current high prices for crude oil are not likely sustainable and – as history has shown
– depending solely on this single resource as a state income source has created a
financial rollercoaster. A more diverse economy is needed in order to create a better
environment for businesses to thrive.
• Increasing the labor pool in Alaska is critical to a sound Alaskan economic future.
Alaskan economists point to several factors that can help, including fixing our
immigration policies; improving our educational programs; providing affordable child
care; and creating attractive lifestyle features via the built infrastructure and a healthy
We need a representative for Alaska who understands Alaska can address these issues.
Towards that end, I have provided a detailed sustainable plan for the NEXT Economy that
addresses health care costs, includes responsible oil development, and diversifies our revenue
sources for a stable fiscal future.

Health Care and the Economy

The biggest financial challenge many families – and most businesses – face is the high cost of
health care. More than a third of the total Alaska State budget is devoted to health care costs.
My plan addresses this issue by:
• Creating pathways for access to affordable health care for all Americans

• Taking on Big Pharma to decrease prescription drug prices.
• Improve policy aimed at future public health threat prevention and preparation.
The NEXT Economy
My economic plan integrates National security, Environmental sustainability, the Xtremes
Alaska is known for, and, Technology, Transportation & Training (NEXT).

National Security
Roger Baker, Senior Vice-President for the geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor, observed,
“Alaska sits at the intersection of North America, Asia and Europe, a critical intersection for
United States strategic security….” The Arctic is one of the focal points of global economic
growth and competition and it is at the frontline with Russia and China. That means it also will
become a major point of global confrontation. From an economic perspective, military defense
is vital not just to American national security, but also to Alaska’s economy. In 2020, the
military spent $3.3 billion in Alaska.
If you elect me to Congress, I will fight hard to maintain a strong military for the protection of
our great country and for the betterment of Alaska’s economy. Among the other items detailed
in the NEXT Economy plan, I will press for rapid development of dual-use, strategic Arctic ports;
fight for accelerated funding for additional polar icebreakers; allocate more funding for cold
weather technology; promote the development of new elliptical-orbit satellites; fund the USCG
to bolster the United States’ presence in the Arctic; and push Congress to ratify the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). I would also call for an “Ocean’s Initiative”
that combines economic and national security components; establish a federal Cyber Security
Center for Excellence in Alaska; strengthen the Veteran’s Administration and stand up for our
Veteran’s health and wellbeing; and look for and support ways to spin off industries and private
sector jobs from military technology.
Oil comprises one-third of our state’s economy, but the industry and our economy has been
suffering from declining production. The war in Ukraine and resulting ban on Russian oil
imports has shown that now is the time for America to become more energy independent. As a
major producer of domestic oil, Alaska needs to have a seat at the head of the table. We should
maximize responsible oil and gas production, while simultaneously diversifying our state’s
energy and resource economy. This means conducting sustainable mining of Alaska’s mineral
resources; an expansion of renewable energy; modernizing our existing power grid; and
promoting energy efficiency and conservation. My plan also supports providing food security
and protecting Alaskan Native People’s subsistence lifestyles. These actions will create Alaskan
jobs that help to create more fiscally stable economy for the long-term.
The increased global interest in the Arctic does not just require national security investments in
Alaska – it also opens up tremendous economic opportunities. These range from fields like
navigation and logistics to space exploration and distance communication – some of the most
cutting-edge industries of the 21st Century. Alaska is also home to amazing outdoor
experiences and traditional cultures that define the richness of our state and can promote
tourism and attract the younger workers we need to build a forward-looking economy.

Technology, Transportation & Training
Alaska’s strategic position – far from the mainland and at the frontier of natural resource policy,
climate change, the growing Arctic economy, and the increasing importance of the Pacific –
defines Alaska economically and geopolitically as an island. Similarly isolated island economies,
such as Ireland and Iceland, have emerged as global economic forces that far exceed what their
natural resources and population sizes might predict. The key to their success is leadership in
advanced technologies that grew directly out of significant investments in human capital. These
investments included developing a world-class education system that extends from early
childhood through adult learning. Investing in our people will provide the foundation for
Alaska’s businesses to overcome the growing labor shortage and compete in the NEXT Alaskan
Economy that includes resource development, logistics, renewable energy development, Arctic
science, space operations, and the like. The alternative is a continued decline in our state

The Detailed Plan

The summary above is a condensation of the detailed thought I’ve put into each of these
important topics. Please scroll down to see the table of contents and the complete plan. I look
forward to hearing your thoughts on how I can improve upon this plan, and I hope you will
support me with your vote so that I may begin to work on these issues for Alaska from
Washington, DC.
As a lifelong Alaskan, physician and commercial fisherman, I believe strongly in this great state.
I want to help you build the NEXT Economy and make Alaska affordable again. Here’s my plan
for how to do it!

Table of Contents

Health Care and the Economy

• Pathways to Affordable and Accessible Health Care
• Take on Big Pharma to Reduced Drug Prices
• Future Public Health Threat Prevention and Preparation

The NEXT Economy

National Security – Military Defense and Alaska’s Economy
• Meeting 21st Century Threats
o Defending the Arctic
o Securing Our Oceans
o Cyber Warfare
• Supporting Warriors and Veterans
• Turning Military Technology into Tech Industries
Environment - Sustainable Resource Extraction
• Responsible Oil Resource Development
• Expanding Renewable Energy
• Sustainable Mining
• Strengthening Our Ocean Economy
• Food Security
• Rural and Alaska Native People’s Subsistence Lifestyles
• Fiscal Sustainability
Xtremes – Leveraging Arctic Unique Features
• Arctic Science
• Space Operations
• Unmanned Aircraft
• Autonomous Vehicles
• Logistics
• Remote Sensing
• Distance Technologies
• Tourism
Technology, Transportation & Training - Investing in Our Future
• Financial Infrastructure
• Physical Infrastructure (Roads, Airports, Marine Highway, Broadband and Postal Service)
• Investing in Our People (Education, Working Wages)
Summary - Investing in the NEXT Economy

Health Care and The Economy
Living in Alaska is expensive. The biggest financial challenge many families – and most
businesses – face is the high cost of health care. More than a third of the total Alaska State
budget is devoted to health care costs. As a result, this important economic issue needs to be
solved in order to move our economy forward.
As a doctor, I’ve seen firsthand the struggles Alaskans and small businesses have with the
prohibitively expensive cost of health insurance and high-quality health care. The American
people deserve a robust and comprehensive response from our leaders to address this. My
economic plan – detailed below – provides several actions to address this issue in two
important ways:
• Creating pathways for access to affordable health care for all Americans.
• Taking on Big Pharma to decrease prescription drug prices.

Pathways to Affordable and Accessible Health Care for All Alaskans

• Low-income Alaskans are most often impacted by high health care costs. I will work to
ensure the federal government continues to provide coverage through the Affordable
Care Act and push to increase Medicaid funding for states to expand health care access
for low-income Americans.
• I will work to provide individuals and small businesses the option to buy Medicare.
Offering a public option will reduce costs for individuals and families to buy health
insurance. Most importantly, this will give working Alaskan families an affordable plan
for their health care. Every Alaskan should have coverage for and access to the care they
need at a cost they can afford. This will also level the playing field with other states, and
make the Alaska economy competitive for finance technology, and information industry
• Many Americans do not have access to a primary care provider. I will strengthen
primary and preventative care across the nation. Every American should have access to
a primary care medical provider. Primary care is the “first line of defense in the form of
trusted advice and care that keeps people from flooding emergency rooms and hospital
outpatient departments when they don’t need to be there.” Primary care is also
important for overall health outcomes and is essential for preventative health (including
managing diseases that make people more vulnerable to illnesses like Covid-19). Any
health care reform must ensure adequate compensation for primary health care
providers to ensure there is a robust workforce to meet patient demand. In Alaska,
primary care work should be incentivized, particularly in rural communities, to ensure
every Alaskan has access to primary care.
• Prior to Covid-19, 48% of rural hospitals operating at a loss according to the National
Rural Health Association. We need to ensure that rural providers have access to capital
and no-interest loans and federal money through the Small Business Administration

loan program and United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loan and Grant
programs. As your Congressman, I will help rural providers acquire the resources they
need to care for their patients.
• I will work to reform health care delivery and payment systems by providing federal
support and incentives to doctors, hospitals, and other providers to simplify and
improve medical record keeping, expand telemedicine, and deliver high value, patient-
centered care.
• As a doctor, I know how personal and complicated medical decisions can be. The federal
government has no role in telling people what to do with their bodies. These are highly
complex decisions and are best left for patients to decide with the support and advice of
their families and their physician. I will fight to keep government out of our health care
• Comprehensive health care for families and children is a critical part of my plan. I will
fight for better pre- and post-natal health care, expanded adoption, and support for
parenting programs so that women who want to carry forward their pregnancy will have
every support that will help her to do so, and so that every child born will have a fair
chance in life.
• Paid family and sick leave benefits businesses by improving retention and productivity
and can boost labor force participation. Besides maintaining and improving the
Affordable Care Act to ensure that every American has adequate health care coverage
and protections, we need an adequate system of family and medical leave, like those in
place in virtually every other advanced country. In the Congress, I will support twelve
weeks of paid family and medical leave and seven days of paid sick leave for routine
personal and family health needs. I will also fight to make sure these laws extend to
domestic workers, caregivers, gig-economy workers, and independent contractors.
Despite our high expenditures, the US health care system is not the best in the world. The US
consistently ranks poorly on access, equity, and health care outcomes compared to other
countries. The American College of Physicians (ACP) has envisioned a better US health care
system, one that reforms delivery and payment systems to improve cost, access, equity, and
other barriers to high-quality care. As a physician in Congress, I will work closely with my
colleagues to tackle these serious problems and institute improvements consistent with the
ACP’s recommendations.

Take on Big Pharma to Decrease Prescription Drug Prices

Prescription drug costs are a significant and growing financial burden for many Americans. In
addition to impacting individuals, the high cost of prescription drugs threatens healthcare
budgets, and limits funding available for other areas in which public investment is needed.
As your representative I will advocate to:
• Authorize Medicare to directly negotiate competitive, lower drug prices.
• Make the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private
insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.

• Limit out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.
• Limit drug price increases to no more than the general inflation rate for medications
that are only produced by a single drug company.
• Allow American consumers to buy drugs from other countries – like Canada - with
robust pharmaceutical safety regulations. This will increase competition and drive down
prices here in the United States.
• Use existing government tools to address price gouging. Where appropriate, the
government can and should use compulsory licensing authority to bypass patents or
require the relicensing of patents that were developed with government involvement.
• Increase anti-trust enforcement against companies that abuse the patent system and
avoid competition.
• Authorize public manufacturing of generic drugs to stop price gouging and lower costs,
especially for:
o Antibiotics, which don’t generate much revenue, discouraging pharmaceutical
investment, causing shortages, and leading to price hikes
o Insulin, a vital diabetes medication that is currently prohibitively expensive for
some patients
o Naloxone, which can be used by medical personnel, friends or family members,
or even bystanders to reverse overdoses, but is currently too expensive to be
distributed to everyone who might use it
o Other unaffordable drugs listed as an "essential medicine" by the World Health
• End the existing tax deduction for all prescription drug ads.
• Block anti-competitive “pay to delay” settlements, whereby brand name producers pay
producers of generic drugs to delay the marketing of their products, which prevents
competition in the prescription drug industry.
• Invest in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments at the National
Institutes of Health.

Future Public Health Threat Prevention and Preparation

If COVID-19 taught us anything, it is that we need to be prepared for major public health issues.
With my experience as a physician, a public health expert, and as your Congressional
Representative in Washington, I will:
• Support funding for the World Health Organization and update International Health
Regulations. I’ll work to reaffirm our nation’s commitment to work with the global
community to promote public health and continue funding international disease control

• Expand the Global Health Security Agenda. I will vote to fully staff all federal agencies,
task forces, and scientific and economic advisory groups focused on health security;
fund an Office of Global Health Security to improve health security readiness,
governance, and global coordination; and, strengthen joint standing international
capacity for bio-surveillance and health emergency response.
• Increase long-term hospital capacity. There has been an epidemic of hospital closures in
poorly served rural areas in recent years. This limits rural communities’ access to critical
care, as was especially evident during devastating COVID surges over the last two years.
We need to support rural hospitals and increase capacity so that our country – and
Alaska in particular – does not need to worry about lacking adequate surge capacity in
the future.

The NEXT Economy

National Security
Military Defense and Alaska’s Economy

Meeting 21st Century Threats

21st Century national threats may be viewed in terms of three domains: the Arctic, the Pacific,
and cyberspace; and Alaska overlaps them all. Roger Baker, Senior Vice-President for the
geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor, observed, “Alaska sits at the intersection of North
America, Asia and Europe, a critical intersection for United States strategic security…. [W]hen
we remember we live on a globe rather than a flat map; Alaska's strategic location becomes
readily apparent.” Our relative proximity to Russia is especially important today. Russia’s recent
unprovoked invasion of Ukraine reminds us that the US must be able and willing to stand up to
Putin, as well as other economic and geopolitical adversaries in the Pacific. America’s security,
and that of our allies, depends upon it. For Alaska, this presents both risks and opportunities.
Military defense is vital not just to American national security, but also to Alaska’s economy. In
2020, the military spent $3.3 billion in Alaska. We have nine major military bases and
approximately 50,000 active-duty Department of Defense (DoD) personnel and dependents in
Alaska. Boroughs and census areas with bases have a high percentage of population in the
military. For example, in 2019, active-duty military and dependents were 19 percent of the
Fairbanks North Star Borough’s population, 18 percent of Kodiak Island Borough, and 14
percent of Denali Borough. Recent DoD projects such as the Long-Range Discrimination Radar
at Clear Space Force Base and the bed down of two squadrons of F-35 fighter jets at Eielson Air
Force Base have alone brought $2 billion in capital expenditures to the state.

Figure 1 – Military Installations and Major Infrastructure in Alaska

With Russia and China recently moving to militarize the Arctic, Alaska is one of the frontiers for
America’s military preparedness. Our state’s strategic importance for national security has only
grown in recent months as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further degraded our nations’
already tense relationship. It is also clear that Russia and China are waging cyberwar against our
country and our allies, attacking our political system and stealing our companies’ economic
If you elect me to Congress, I will fight hard to maintain a strong military for the protection of
our great country and for the betterment of Alaska’s economy.

Defending the Arctic

The coming 21st Century presents virtually limitless economic opportunities for Alaska. But to
secure those opportunities, we need to strengthen the “Arctic Security Initiative” so that it is
fully funded and dedicated and consists of a multi-year strategy with diplomatic and economic
efforts. With our climate rapidly changing, the Arctic is poised to become a major shipping
route. And with more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia and Russia, the Arctic is also
going to become a major focus of energy exploration. Russia has long been militarizing the
Arctic. According to coverage in Defense News, Russia is “operating the world’s largest
icebreaker fleet while building out air bases, seaports, weapons and domain awareness tools to
operate there.” Meanwhile, “China has declared itself a ‘near-Arctic state’ as it angles for a
share of the trillions of dollars to be made off minerals, natural gas, ocean fisheries and trade
routes in the region.” With a desire to control the new trade routes, Putin has called the
Northwest Passage the new Suez Canal. However, the United States’ current preparation and
infrastructure to compete in and defend the region is lacking:
• The United States only has two aging icebreakers, although plans are underway to
launch an additional three. Meanwhile, Russia has 13 in the Arctic, about 50 in total, and
more under construction. China has three icebreakers already operational. Icebreaker

fleets serve many important functions: gathering scientific data, rescuing ships, and
protecting United States interests the Arctic region, both military and commercial.
• The availability of Arctic port infrastructure and support influences the level of risk
associated with transiting these waterways and corresponds to the cost of marine
insurance rates The nearest United States strategic port is roughly 1,000 miles away
from the Arctic. Russia, in contrast, currently plans to open 10 search-and-rescue
stations, 16 deep-water ports, 13 airfields, and 10 air defense sites in the Arctic.
• In addition to this lack of Arctic infrastructure, our country’s strategic planning, funding,
and technical capabilities in the Arctic are currently inadequate to match those of either
Russia or China.
• A series of recent reports have also questioned America’s military readiness more
broadly. These reports offered foreboding conclusions that climate change poses
significant threats to national security, military preparedness, and personnel safety, and
the military has not fully pivoted to handle these threats. "The DoD is precariously
underprepared for the national security implications of climate change-induced global
security challenges," a United States Army War College study bluntly concluded.
Alaska needs a representative who will take these warnings seriously and secure a federal
commitment to military readiness and investment in the Arctic. I will go to Washington to push
for just such a comprehensive initiative.
My plan will:
• Push Congress to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Russia has claimed 463,000 square miles of seabed off its coasts under UNCLOS. But
while more than 160 nations have ratified UNCLOS, the United States is not among
them. If the United States were to ratify the treaty, it could lay claim to the potentially
resource-rich seabed off our coast, an area about twice the size of California.
• Press for rapid development of dual-use, deep-water strategic Arctic ports along the
North Slope, Bering Strait, and Aleutian Islands to meet the needs of the United States
Coast Guard (USCG), national and homeland security entities, as well as commercial
needs. Every other Arctic coastal nation has at least one port where a large, deep-draft
ship, such as a commercial resupply carrier or naval vessel, can safely moor during Arctic
operations. The United States has none. “The absence of a deep-draft Arctic port and
associated marine infrastructure is a glaring gap in the United States’ ability to respond
to greater marine access and activity at the top of the world,” according to Captain
Lawson Brigham, USCG (Retired), a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington,
DC, and a researcher at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). On the West Coast of
Alaska, the federal government is starting to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to
expand and deepen the port at Nome, which could serve the needs of DoD and
commercial vessels navigating the Arctic. I will support this investment wholeheartedly.
• Provide adequate funding for the USCG to make the United States presence in the Arctic
more robust. Funding for operational support has been flat for nearly a decade,
resulting in deferred maintenance, a strained and undersized workforce, antiquated

information systems, and a backlog in shore infrastructure needed for the newest ships
that now exceeds $1.7 billion, according to the USCG Commandant.
• Fight for accelerated funding for additional polar icebreakers.
• Support the actualization of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),
passed in December 2020, which includes the establishment of the first new DoD
regional center established since 2000. The Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security
Studies – to be located in Anchorage – will support defense strategy objectives and
policy priorities through a unique academic forum, while also fostering strong
international networks of security leaders.
• Push for creation of new, forward bases for Arctic exploration and defense. We
currently lack military bases closer to the Arctic Sea than the Fairbanks area.
• Fund the USCG Search and Rescue requirements as described in 2019 Arctic Strategic
Outlook, with particular attention to robust asset allocation along the Bering Strait and
North Slope.
• Allocate more funding for cold weather technology. New technology utilized in the
region must be reliable, affordable and deployable in persistent operations. For
instance, the duration of battery power in cold conditions remains a major limitation.
Aircraft crews need to understand and prepare for cold-weather flight and the strain
that arctic conditions put on airframes. Investing in existing technologies and cutting-
edge research will improve the United States military’s understanding of, and ability to
fight in, the Arctic.
• Promote funding for the development of new elliptical-orbit satellites. Communications
are more difficult in the Arctic because of the latitude, magnetic pulses, the Northern
Lights, and our mountain ranges. Even satellite communication is inadequate due both
to the extremely low take-off angle needed to access equatorial geostationary satellites
and the refraction of radio signals through the atmosphere at high latitudes. The
Russians have overcome this by using highly elliptical orbiting satellites for over 50
years. The United States is now partnering with Norway to acquire highly elliptical
orbiting satellites; we need to fully fund and accelerate this effort.
• Push Pentagon leadership to spend more time in rural Alaska, working with and learning
from Alaska Native Peoples. Our troops need to be able to conduct cold-weather
operations and land navigation in the Arctic wilderness, and Alaska Native Peoples have
significant expertise in these areas.

Securing Our Oceans

The United States is one the greatest powers in history in part because it commands the world’s
oceans, starting with the three oceans it directly borders. Alaska is a geographic and strategic
link between two of these: the Arctic and the Pacific. Two key elements stand out. First, Alaska
plays a key role as the gateway to the Arctic; and second, Alaska provides the United States
strategic depth in the Pacific. Alaska gives our country its farthest reach into the Pacific. This
will prove crucial in the years ahead, as the balance of global power in the 21st Century is
moving from the traditional Atlantic powers to the Pacific. This has even been called “the

Pacific Century,” reflecting the growing global economic importance of countries such as South
Korea and Singapore, the growing military strength of Japan, and the heightened threats of
Russia, China, and North Korea.
Neither of our main adversaries in the Pacific – Russia and China – can defeat the United States
in an all-out war. Therefore, they are employing a strategy termed “anti-access and area-
denial” (A2/AD), which essentially makes it too costly for us to launch an attack on their
homelands. They achieve this by expanding their perimeters, making it difficult for us to reach
them. That’s part of why Russia wants to push its presence into Alaskan waters and the Arctic,
and why China builds artificial islands in the South China Sea. This is also why Alaska is a crucial
asset to any American Pacific strategy. Alaska provides a United States’ forward base for
projecting power into the Pacific and countering our main adversaries’ A2/AD approaches.
Alaska is therefore not just the keystone to the Arctic, but also the anchor of a 21st-century
Pacific strategy.
Among the growing economic opportunities and challenges of this region, perhaps the most
significant is China. China’s growing regional threat in the Asia/Pacific region is no secret. But
that is not the only region in which China poses a rising challenge to our country. Despite being
900 miles from the Arctic, China’s ambitions are asserted by claiming it to be a “near-Arctic
nation.” Since the Pacific/Arctic gateway that China covets is guarded by Alaska, Alaska is likely
to be the nexus for both commerce and confrontation between the United States and China in
the 21st Century.
For these reasons I am calling for an “Oceans Initiative” that combines economic and national
security components into a range of needed activities, such as:
• Funding more frequent and better-equipped USCG patrols in the Arctic and Pacific.
• Enhancing the USCG’s maritime domain awareness and communications infrastructure.
Maritime Domain Awareness involves collecting the maximum information and
intelligence about any ship or vessel in the country’s waters, creating actionable
intelligence as to any potential damage with respect to national security, the eco-system
or the economy. Maritime Domain Awareness can be monitored by automatic
identification systems, long-range radars, and long-range unmanned aerial vehicles
• Supplementing improved United States surface strength with an underwater defense
partnership between the UAF and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center located in
Keyport, WA.
• Pushing back against Russian incursion into Alaskan fishing zones.
• Guarding against Chinese advances in the Pacific, and,
• Generally maintaining open sea-lanes for commerce in both the Arctic and the Pacific.

Cyber Warfare
Cyber war is a key component of modern warfare and cyber-attacks are amongst the gravest
threats our national interests, our infrastructure, and our economy faces. Russia deploys cyber
spies to sow misinformation around the world, most recently in the Ukrainian war, and to

disrupt American and European elections and undermine key allegiances between democratic
allies. In 2015, Russia successfully attacked Ukraine’s power grid, causing widespread outages
and disruptions. More recently, ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and the global
meatpacking company, JBS, caused significant economic devastation here in the United States.
North Korean hackers have also succeeded in causing extensive physical and financial damage
on Sony Pictures in “retaliation” for Sony’s satirical, scatological movie, “The Interview,” about
a fictional CIA assassination attempt on Kim Jong Un. Terrorists are trying to hack into
computers overseeing major American infrastructure to shut down power grids and water
utilities, destroy dams, and unleash meltdowns of commercial nuclear plants.
China has also hacked a number of these systems to apparently explore the feasibility of such
attacks, and allegedly now embraces such efforts as part of its standard military doctrine.
Meanwhile, they’ve successfully accessed the social security numbers of US citizens who have
applied for a federal security clearance; stolen weapons designs and data on advanced
technologies and insight into United States government policies; collected information about
America’s electrical power grid, gas lines and waterworks; stolen designs for the F-35 fighter
jet; corporate secrets for rolling steel; and even the blueprints for gas pipelines that supply
much of the United States. For now, according to a leading expert, “China is careful to avoid
anything that could look like an attack,” but it’s clear that the warfare of the future – cyber war
– is already here.
In Congress, I will work to make Alaska a leader in cyber-defense by establishing and funding a
federal Cyber Security Center of Excellence. In 2007, Russia launched the world’s first cyber war
against Estonia, a country with a small population on Russia’s westernmost border. Estonia
responded by becoming the world leader in cyber security, and, ultimately, home to NATO’s
Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. The Center works to enhance information security and
cyber defense education, awareness, and training. It provides support for cyber-defense
experimentation and carries out cyber defense trainings and exercises. The world’s largest
cyber defense exercise is carried out every year at the Center in Talinn, Estonia’s capital, with
military teams participating from all over the world. The United States would benefit from a
similar center of excellence, like the one NATO established on Russia’s western frontier, right
here in Alaska, on Russia’s eastern frontier.

Supporting Our Warriors and Veterans

Alaska is home to tens of thousands of active service military personnel, Veterans, and their
families. In Congress, I will consistently advocate for Alaska’s brave servicemembers and their
loved ones. I will:
• Strengthen the Veterans Administration (VA) and stand up for our Veterans’ health and
wellbeing. The VA must deliver the excellent health care our Veterans deserve. The VA
must remain the primary provider and coordinator of care for Veterans who rely on it
for efficient and effective care. As a supplementary provider network to the VA health
care system, the Community Care Network must also be high performing and well-
integrated into the VA health care system. We must fully fund the VA and the
Community Care Network – a direct link to private health service providers – so that
Veterans receive the quality health care they deserve.

• Support Veteran mental health and work to prevent Veteran suicide. Every day,
approximately twenty-two Veterans die by suicide. The VA must provide timely access
for wartime Veterans seeking primary mental health care and specialized readjustment
services. Early intervention and routine screening should be emphasized for all post-
deployment Veterans as a critical building block in an effective suicide prevention effort.
Congress must ensure that the VA has the needed resources to effectively implement
mental health and suicide prevention programs, including the VA’s predictive analytics
to identify and treat those most at risk.
• Protect military members’ and their families’ economic wellbeing. Roughly 250,000
service members leave military service every year. These Veterans need transition
assistance, along with employment and education opportunities. These services are
provided by a complex constellation of agencies, including the Departments of Veterans
Affairs, Defense, Homeland Security, and Labor. Fragmentation of these services
reduces access and awareness of existing employment opportunities and education
services, as well as other vital information Veterans may need. Each of these
Departments must take whatever actions are necessary, including requesting additional
funding, to better coordinate services across agencies and ensure that 100% of
transitioning service members are prepared to transition to civilian life to pursue their
post-service career goals.
• Push for programs that promote national service – not just in the military, but also
teaching in underserved communities, providing medical care in underserved areas, or
working in public safety and emergency response.

Turning Military Technology into Tech Industries

Here in Alaska, military and defense personnel constitute roughly 9% of our workforce, and the
Pentagon spends more than twice as much in our state per resident as we receive from the
Permanent Fund Dividend. As Nolan Klouda, Executive Director of the Center for Economic
Development at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA), observes, “fundamentally, it makes
sense to think of the military as a cornerstone of our economic foundation.” It’s therefore
essential that members of Alaska’s congressional delegation continue to push for federal
funding and support for the military here in Alaska. However, we should also look beyond the
military’s direct economic impact on Alaska and recognize that the strong military presence in
our state also presents opportunities for additional economic development. I believe we can
build on and diversify the military’s economic impact on our state, not just by securing
additional federal investment, but by also looking for ways to spin off industries and private-
sector jobs from military activities.
As Klouda points out, the economic potential of these national security assets goes far beyond
the immediate employment of 29,000 military and defense personnel, or the award of
contracts to small businesses, important as these are. For example, the construction activity
around Eielson Air Force base, which enabled it to host the new F-35 fighter aircraft, allowed
Fairbanks to escape the downturn in employment that the rest of the state suffered in 2018.
And the economic effects can even exceed such regional impacts if we think strategically about
them. Klouda notes, “Nationally, the military has been a patron of technology development; the
first computers and the internet are just two critical examples. More recently, military

technology focused on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has spurred business and educational
opportunities in Alaska, along with the creation of the Alaska Center for UAS Integration at
University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Similarly, military research can spur innovation.”
Alaska needs a concerted program to create cutting-edge commercial spin-offs from its military
technologies. There are numerous industries and commercial applications that can be built off
military technologies already deployed in Alaska:
• Clear Space Force Station – Formerly Clear Air Force Station - in the Denali Borough, is
one of only three Space Force installations located outside of the contiguous United
States. With President Trump’s creation of the Space Force; a renewed push to return to
manned space flight and deep space exploration; and, commercial space flight, space
travel and exploration are likely to be important to the 21st Century economy and
military. Alaska should be central to these efforts.
• Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Jim Dodson cites the
new Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Space Force Station, which is capable of
detecting ballistic missiles en route to targets in the United States as “an opportunity for
UAF or others to use that information to help Alaska understand weather patterns in
the Arctic, migration of waterfowl, and more. It could have tremendous impacts to
aviation. It could really increase safety.” The expertise and technology already housed in
this facility could be harnessed for the development of valuable such applications.
• Fort Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks hosts logistics support units. Logistics is one of
the fastest growing and most lucrative industries in the world. It supports jobs ranging
from the hands-on to the most sophisticated software engineering. As a bridge between
both Asia and North America and the Arctic and the Pacific, Alaska is perfectly situated
to be one of the world’s major transshipment centers of goods by both air and sea.
• Fort Greeley Army Base, also outside Fairbanks, contains the Army’s Cold Regions Test
Center. Testing and understanding extreme weather conditions is of increasingly critical
importance to our military as the Arctic becomes a locus of international operations and
tensions. This knowledge will also be crucial to the global economy as the Arctic
becomes a site of increased exploration, economic development, and trade. And with
extreme weather conditions increasingly affecting industries across the world –
including transportation, energy, insurance, and finance – Arctic science itself will be big
business and the subject of increased federal investment.
• The Marine Safety Unit Valdez (USCG) is perhaps the leading center for oil-spill
containment and clean-up. As one of the world’s great centers of natural resources,
Alaska should also be one of the centers of knowledge, expertise and activity in
protecting them.
• UAF’s Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft System Integration was the first in the
country to complete an FAA-approved domestic flight (beyond visual line of sight) of an
unmanned aircraft system, cementing Alaska as leaders and experts in this pursuit. This
also has incredible potential economic spinoffs.

• The Alaska Satellite Facility and the Remote Sensing group, both at UAF, are working
with NASA to improve remote sensing capabilities with not just military but also
environmental, agricultural, and other economic applications.
As I will discuss throughout the rest of my plan, we need to draw on this existing expertise
within Alaska and encourage civilian spin-off technologies, supplier firms, and academic
research to develop them into full industries and job creators. The federal government has a
crucial role to play in helping Alaska to do this.
As your representative I will work to:
• Provide funding for research and development of relevant technologies at Alaska
military installations.
• Support cutting-edge commercial spin-offs from military technologies deployed at
Alaska’s bases and other federal installations.
• Support the University of Alaska to be an active partner in developing these
• Contract specifically to Alaska-based firms and entrepreneurs for the cooperative
development of new technologies.
• Encourage those leaving the military with technical expertise to remain in their Alaska
host communities to start new related commercial ventures.

Sustainable Resource Extraction
Responsible Oil Resource Development
It’s clear that Alaska’s economy depends heavily on the fossil fuel industry, both for individual
employment and statewide revenue. With the recent war in Ukraine, it is also clear that
American energy sources are crucial to the world market, and, to that end, Alaska should
continue to be a primary producer of American oil.
However, it is also a reality that the fossil fuel industry is declining. The number of oil rigs
operating in the United States has fallen by over 70% since the start of 2020, to the lowest level
in half a decade. Alaska needs to start planning for the transition to a new economy. That’s why
I will support responsible development of oil and gas resources, balanced with the
development of Alaska’s other rich resources.
In Congress, I will:
• Recognize Alaska’s decades-long record of strong environmental stewardship and
support the responsible development of the state’s natural resources. Increasing
production of everything from oil, natural gas, coal, hydropower, wind, solar, and
biomass will create new jobs and economic opportunities, strengthen national security,
and contribute to the global competitiveness of our country. I am a champion of access
to federal lands and waters. This is needed to facilitate energy production in the non-
wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on Alaska’s Outer Continental

Shelf, and in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. These areas are estimated to
collectively hold almost 35 billion barrels of conventional oil and could significantly
contribute to refilling the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which is currently running two-thirds
• Work to ensure that no major federal hurdles emerge for the Alaska natural gas pipeline
project, which will allow the state to produce and market the vast quantities of natural
gas stranded beneath the North Slope.
I believe that energy fuels the economy and strongly support policies that make energy
abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure.
Expand Renewable Energy
The overwhelming majority of Alaskans recognize that climate change is occurring, and that
Alaska is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the United States. A warming climate affects
our fishing and tourist industries, our energy industry (on both the supply and demand sides),
our transportation systems, subsistence and our Alaskan way of life. We must therefore adapt
while ensuring the sustainability of our energy systems, our economy and our communities.
Alaska needs to diversify our energy economy to avoid overdependence on a single resource. In
order to provide affordable energy for every Alaskan, we must modernize the existing power
system by improving system resilience and reliability while integrating the maximum
practicable amount of renewable energy. At the same time, we can and should protect and
support the jobs and communities that depend on oil and gas production. Luckily, Alaska’s
diverse energy resources (fossils, wind, hydroelectric, solar, geothermal, etc.) provide ample
opportunity to meet these goals while maintaining a sustainable balance between conservation
and production. Diversifying our power portfolio holds promise towards lowering the cost of
energy for Alaskans, who currently pay nearly double what Americans in other states pay per
As your Congressional Representative, I will:
• Make renewable energy tax credits permanent at their full, current level. This includes
the Production Tax Credit for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and wave technologies;
the Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy technologies; and, the full electric
vehicle tax credit. This action will provide certainty for investors that renewables are
worth the financial commitment.
• Promote energy efficiency and conservation: including robust efficiency standards for
appliances and buildings, which reduce emissions while saving Americans money;
mandates to improve energy efficiency in public housing units; and increased funding
for the Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs, which offers low-cost financing
options for investments in energy efficiency.
• Modernize our power grid, expand funding for micro-grid development, and promote
and export Alaska’s expertise in this area. Alaska’s remote local microgrids are
increasingly being powered by renewable energy sources. And, with 12 % of the world’s
existing microgrid systems, Alaska is a leader in microgrid technology. The Alaska Center
for Energy and Power (ACEP) at UAF is a world leader in microgrid research.

With our power grid increasingly a potential target of foreign enemies and terrorists,
the United States will benefit from independent local backup grid systems that can
survive on their own if need be. I will sponsor legislation, building on Senator
Murkowski’s bill, to fund a robust microgrid program to address limitations on
expansion, further explore hybrid and renewable options, and spur potential innovation.
I will also push to locate this program at ACEP, prioritize funding for communities with
existing microgrids (which are mostly in Alaska) and fund avenues for existing microgrid
communities and enterprises to share their expertise across the US.
• Support the development and completion of projects that will make our grid systems
and electric power more resilient, reliable and efficient – thereby decreasing demand
for greenhouse gas production -- such as Homer Electric Association’s Battery Energy
Storage System.
• Support legislation like the National Climate Bank Act of 2019 that offers innovative
solutions to address climate change through both private and public funding. The Bank
would directly finance greenhouse gas emissions reduction and clean energy projects, as
well as support state and local Green Banks to mobilize community investment in
renewables as well as expand the availability of federal loans to low and moderate-
income families and communities to afford projects that reduce emissions.
• Fight for federal funding for clean energy programs, such as the State and Local Climate
and Energy Program, and the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network. I also
support increasing funding for the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, which
provides funding and technical assistance to states to enhance energy security, advance
state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste.
Sustainable Mining
Many of Alaska’s economic growth opportunities rely on resource extraction from the natural
environment. Although I oppose some specific projects, such as the Pebble Project, that hold
high potential environmental risks that could negatively impact communities or other (e.g.,
fisheries) industries, I support mining activities that are environmentally sound, are good for
most – if not all – Alaskans and can pay their own way. Responsible extraction brings significant
economic growth and opportunities to Alaska. That’s why I will move Alaska forward, with
responsible, 21st Century resource extraction and why I am for forward-looking, sustainable
extractive industries like rare earth elements (REEs) and graphite.
Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are essential to the production of countless technologies, including
LED displays, hard drives, electric vehicle batteries, wind turbine generators, medical tools, and
military weaponry. Demand for these valuable minerals will only grow as the world moves
towards electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. This increasing demand makes REE
extraction an enormous economic opportunity.
Furthermore, because of their use in military technologies, REEs are considered by the United
States government to be among the minerals most critical to our national defense. But today,
97% of our REEs come from China, and the Chinese government has recently threatened to cut
off REE supplies to the United States, and specifically to United States defense contractors. To
counter this threat to the United States’ REE imports, we must develop a reliable domestic

supply. Luckily, Alaska has significant untapped REE resources, and could contribute to that
domestic supply.
There are more than 70 known occurrences of rare-earth elements throughout Alaska, and
millions of acres of land still await assessment for their REE/strategic mineral potential. One of
the most significant REE prospects in the United States is Bokan Mountain, located on Prince of
Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. The Bokan deposit has an unusual and attractive mix of REEs.
It is enriched in the heaver, and particularly rare, REEs critical for the production of permanent
magnets. Furthermore, federal and state geological agencies have identified another 200-mile
stretch extending northwest from Bokan Mountain as an excellent site for REE exploration. Of
course, it’s essential that exploration and exploitation of REEs occur with proper respect for
Alaska’s environment and for the Alaska Native People’s cultures whose lifestyles depend on
environmental preservation.
Today, the few REEs that are mined in the United States must be sent abroad – mostly to China
– to be refined before we reimport and use them. Similar to mining, we need to build refining
and reprocessing capability in the United States. There are opportunities for Alaska to
participate in this industry. For example, Ketchikan is only about 35 miles northeast of the
Bokan Mountain deposit, hosts a deep-sea port on the Pacific Rim, and is situated roughly 60
miles from a Canadian railhead that would connect the project to all of North America.
Crucially, technological advances mean that REE refining can be sustainable and
environmentally sound. New REE facilities under development elsewhere in the United States
strive for sustainable processing, relying on renewable energy for power and an
environmentally friendly continuous ion-exchange separation method. This separation method
has the added benefits of low capital and operating costs and streamlined permitting. Similarly,
Ucore, the owner of the Bokan deposits, has developed its own efficient and environmentally
sound separation method. The company believes this method could do even more to secure a
domestic REE supply than developing a mine on United States soil. After a successful pilot,
Ucore searched for a site for a commercial scale REE separation facility and found that
Ketchikan was logical solution. This complex could eventually serve as a separation facility for
an REE mine at Bokan. In 2014, the Alaska Legislature authorized the Alaska Industrial
Development and Export Authority to finance up to $145 million of the $220 million
development costs at Bokan. The rare earths industry will be central to the United States
economy and national security in the coming decades. With governmental backing and new
sustainable technologies, we can make Alaska a center of this promising industry while still
protecting Alaska’s unique and irreplaceable natural resources.
Like rare earth elements, graphite is an essential part of numerous technologies, including
laptops, smartphones, LEDs, drones, and even nuclear reactors. Like REEs, graphite is also a key
component of lithium-ion batteries and energy storage devices, and thus the electric vehicles,
solar cells, and wind-power generators that will comprise the growing clean energy economy. In
fact, the World Bank projects a 383% increase in graphite demand between now and 2050,
fueled largely by the rapid increase of lithium-ion battery production.
Not surprisingly, then, the Pentagon has identified graphite as “essential” to United States
security and the broader manufacturing sector, and, like REEs, graphite is classified as a “critical

mineral” for which the United States must develop domestic sources. Currently, we import
100% of our graphite, much of it from China.
The highest-grade and largest known large flake graphite deposit in the U.S is found at Graphite
Creek, outside of Nome. This deposit presents a huge economic opportunity for Alaska. As
Anthony Huston, the President and CEO of Graphite One, the Vancouver-based owner of the
Graphite Creek mine, says, “the Lower 48 wants a green economy and the electrification of
everything, and Alaska can be the purveyor of that.”
But this also presents a challenge. Graphite mining, like all mining, poses risks to the
environment, to human health, and to nearby communities and cultures. Fortunately, as with
REEs, the private sector is developing more sustainable and socially conscious means of utilizing
these valuable resources. And again, government investment can help encourage their
For instance, Nouveau Monde Graphite, a Quebec mining company with provincial government
backing, is developing a large-scale graphite mine that will use all-electric equipment to bring
carbon-neutral materials into the electric vehicle supply chain. The company also plans to use
clean electricity from Quebec’s extensive hydropower to run a large-scale secondary graphite
transformation facility. Once constructed, this facility will create a 99.95% pure product for use
in the lithium-ion battery industry. That is both cheaper and cleaner than synthetic graphite
from Asia, which often requires fossil fuels for the transformation process. Between the electric
mining operation and the clean transformation process at their secondary plant, the company
promises that its work will “result in the greenest product.” This model of private sector
innovation and government investment shows what graphite extraction and production could
look like here in Alaska: clean, sustainable economic development.
In Congress, I will:
• Work to ensure federal support to bring environmentally responsible projects like these
in Alaska, to recover and refine Rare Earth Elements, graphite and other critical minerals
and valuable resources.
• Support the development of manufacturing industries around these minerals, such as
weapon systems, high-tech consumer products, and green technologies like hybrid and
electric cars, batteries and other energy-storage systems, including batteries for the
fast-growing electric vehicle market, and wind turbine generators.
• Push for the creation of an industrial policy to support national security efforts with
expanded direct federal investment in companies that produce critical resources, as the
Pentagon has recommended.
• Push to tie such support, and any tax incentives, to the use of green mining techniques.

Strengthening Our Ocean Economy

The Ocean Economy is a broad concept. It includes everything from food and energy production
to trade and logistics, from travel and tourism to global cable connections. Globally, its value is
estimated between $3-6 trillion per year, and it’s growing faster than the economy as a whole.

Nearly half the world’s population relies on the oceans for their livelihoods, among them many
Alaskans. Alaska borders two of the world’s five oceans. We are uniquely positioned to feel the
impacts of threats to the Ocean Economy, and to capitalize on its opportunities.
Keeping Ocean Waters Clean
Our ocean waters, and with them, the
ocean-based industries on which so many
Alaskans depend, are under threat from
several directions:
• Oil spills: In the last half-century,
nearly six million tons of oil have
polluted the marine environment
due to spills from tankers and
barges. These spills have disastrous
consequences for marine life. Figure 2 - Confluence of the Arctic and Pacific Oceans
Fortunately, annual spillage has
fallen over the last fifty years. Over that period, Alaskans have developed expertise on
spill management that the whole world needs. While the Exxon Valdez spill was terrible
for the environment, Alaska was able to test and refine appropriate techniques for
mitigating ecological damage. Today, Alaska is the home to this expertise, and the USCG
Marine Safety Unit Valdez, is perhaps the leading center for oil-spill containment and
• Plastics: Americans use approximately 35 billion plastic water bottles and 500 billion
plastic bags each year. Only 5% of the millions of pounds of plastic created each year are
reclaimed. Eight million tons makes its way to the water, polluting our oceans, harming
marine life, and compromising the quality of our seafood. This marine plastic waste can
and should be collected, and “upcycled” to produce new products.
• Climate Change: Climate change is causing more frequent marine heat waves and higher
sea temperatures, with a disastrous impact on marine life and the fishing industry. In
2016, in the Gulf of Alaska, a marine heat wave simultaneously raised metabolic
demands in Pacific cod while driving down prey populations. This severely reduced cod
populations, and, as a result, the Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod fishery was declared a
disaster and not fished commercially. Experts warn there will be more such heat waves
in the future, with far-reaching effects. The resulting algal blooms threaten not just cod,
but all fish and shellfish farms.
We need a representative in Washington who will protect our waters. In Congress, I’ll fight to
keep Alaska’s waters clean and productive. I will work for robust federal funding to:
• Export Alaska’s expertise in oil-spill cleanup to cement Alaska’s position as a global
center of clean ocean technology.
• Develop plastic upcycling (recreating new products) as an industry that employs
Alaskans at a living wage to collect plastic for future production, creating job-growth
opportunities that contribute to environmental protection.
• Engage indigenous people as leaders in addressing marine changes.

• Advance scientific research on our oceans, including ocean acidification, unmanned
maritime systems, ocean interactions with other systems (such as hurricanes, floods,
sea level rise, coastal erosion, and earthquakes), improving weather and ocean
forecasting, monitoring, rebuilding and better managing fish stocks, preserving
ecosystems, and addressing algal bloom crises.
Securing Our Domestic Marine Resources
As discussed in the National Security section, Russian and Chinese attempts to dominate the
Arctic and the Pacific threaten not just our national security, but also the flow of global trade
and commerce. Due to its location, Alaska faces a unique commercial threat from the Russians:
their attempts to expand their fishing zones in the Bering Sea. In 1990, the USSR and the United
States settled our maritime boundary in the Baker-Shevardnadze agreement, but after the
collapse of the USSR in 1991, the new Russian Duma never ratified it.
Since then, Russian politicians and fishermen have criticized the agreement, arguing it
disadvantages Russian fishing interests in the Bering Sea, as Russia ceded more of the formerly
disputed area than the US. Russian fishing vessels have regularly breached the maritime border
and been observed by the USCG inside the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The
fishermen see these breaches as a challenge to the maritime border, arguing they have been
“expelled” from their own waters where they have the right to fish. Since the 1990s, this issue
has dominated the bilateral regional relationship, with the USCG regularly having to deal with
Russian trawlers. Russian fishermen have hauled in thousands of tons of Alaskan pollock and
Pacific herring and have a new fleet in the Bering Sea. Russian over-crabbing is particularly
egregious; data suggest that illegal crabbing from Russian boats is greater than the entire legal
trade in the United States.
We need a representative who will go to Washington to represent Alaska’s interests and push
back on this Russian incursion. As your representative, I will work for legislation:
• Pushing back against Russian incursion into Alaskan fishing zones to preserve our state's
natural resources and mandating stricter military oversight of international presence in
Alaskan fishing zones.
• Protecting and managing fish stocks and marine life worldwide by providing strong
support for the fisheries management system and designating Marine Protected Areas,
which produce significant biological benefits and increase biodiversity.
• To permanently protect the Alaskan crab industry against cheaper imported and illegal
products from Russia.
Promoting Our Seafood Industry
The seafood industry is a cornerstone of Alaska’s economy: Approximately 56,800 workers are
directly employed by Alaska’s seafood industry, including 26,500 Alaska residents. Seafood
directly creates the equivalent of nearly 30,000 full-time jobs in Alaska, and directly or indirectly
generates about 8% of total statewide employment (double that in rural areas). The impact of
Alaska’s seafood industry is even greater nationally, producing an estimated 99,000 full-time
jobs and $12.8 billion in economic output. The seafood industry isn’t just important to Alaska –
it’s personally important to me: I'm an Alaskan commercial fisherman. I started fishing these
waters commercially at the age of fourteen. My mother, Shari, was the first Executive Director

of the United Fishermen of Alaska. I know how important fishing and protecting our oceans and
waterways are for our economy and for our people. That’s why you know you can count on me
to fight for our seafood industry.
Besides traditional Alaska fisheries, Alaska has all the qualities of an environment suited for
mariculture development: clean and abundant waters, a reputation for sustainably managed
resources, the skills and abilities of coastal Alaskans who work on the water, the cultural
knowledge of Alaska Native Peoples, and an existing seafood industry and infrastructure.
According to a 2018 economic analysis by the McDowell Group, “with strategic investment in
overcoming current challenges, the Alaska mariculture industry could grow to $100 million in
the next 20 years. Species with the greatest potential…include oysters, mussels, geoduck, kelp,
king crab and sea cucumber,”. The existing seafood infrastructure, workforce, markets and
Alaska Seafood brand can all be utilized to help advance the development of the mariculture
As your representative, I will:
• Oppose any efforts to expand aquaculture that threaten Alaska’s local fisheries and
robust seafood industry.
• Press for federal legislation establishing procurement programs specifically for United
States seafood products, helping fishermen with vessel loan payments and refinancing
and qualifying fishermen for unemployment insurance.
• Fund federal fisheries disaster assistance.
• Support the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute in promotion of Alaska Seafood.
• Support the development of the Alaska Mariculture industry.
Food Security
Seafood and the fishing economy are absolutely vital to Alaska. But we also need to look
beyond our marine bounty, at opportunities to broaden food production and food security
generally in our state. As a remote state, we rely heavily on imported goods, including the
majority of our foodstuffs. This also makes it difficult to connect supply chains to our farthest-
flung communities. Together, these geographic characteristics give Alaska a very high cost of
living and potential for food insecurity if supply chains are broken. In 2021, the cost of food in
Alaska increased by nearly 5%, driven in large part by significant and ongoing disruptions to
global supply chains. One way to bring down food costs, and simultaneously create economic
opportunity and food security here in Alaska, is to nurture our local food economy.
In Alaska, small farms are on the rise. This trend has been linked to the growing number of
farmers markets statewide and the increasing popularity of Community Supported Agriculture
(CSA) boxes. This locally grown food is supporting an increasing number of Alaska farmers,
stimulating the state economy, and contributing to our food security and self-sufficiency. We
need to continue to broaden the opportunities for food production in Alaska. Though
agriculture has been booming, there is room for more growth. As your representative, I’ll
support creative initiatives to further grow local Alaska agriculture, increasing both in-state
food production and consumption. In Washington, I will work to:

• Shift federal farm supports from subsidizing large factory farms and corporate farming
in the Midwest to encouraging small farmers like those in Alaska.
• Increase funding for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Local Food
Promotion Program, which supports local and regional food business enterprises to
increase access to locally and regionally produced agricultural goods.
• Leverage federal USDA grant funding to increase local production and sale of inputs
(soil, lumber, growing supplies, seeds, pots) to further strengthen the local food system.
These grants include the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program,
Value-Added Producer Grants, or Specialty Crop Block Grant.
• Fund development of more sophisticated databases to track local food sales. This will
enable a better understanding of both producer and consumer needs.
• Explore opportunities to transition the high levels of household food production in
Alaska to commercial production, where there is more potential for economic impact,
by supporting the entrepreneurship of household producers and small-scale commercial
growers as they scale production.
• Support the expansion of the Alaska Grown Program.
• Help small farmers develop direct marketing plans to advertise their products and reach
more consumers.
• Continue to promote Alaska Farmer’s Markets and support the Alaska Farmer’s
Sustaining Rural and Alaska Native People’s Lifestyles
Alaska Native Peoples have relied upon the traditional harvest of wild foods for thousands of
years and have passed this way of life, its culture, and values down through generations. In fact,
nowhere else in the country is there a heavier reliance upon wild foods. Unfortunately,
subsistence lifestyles and the associated remote communities are especially vulnerable to the
effects of climate change. The impact on Alaska Native Peoples is particularly acute. The
Congressional Research Service reports that “changes in sea ice and sea level, permafrost,
tundra, weather, and vegetation distributions, as well as increased commercial shipping,
mineral extraction, and tourism, will affect the distribution of land and sea mammals, of
freshwater and marine fish, and of forage for reindeer. Arctic indigenous peoples’ harvesting of
animals is likely to become riskier and less predictable, which may increase food insecurity,
change diets, and increase dependency on outside, nontraditional foods.”
Despite well-intended efforts, several decades of joint federal-state management of
subsistence issues has failed to adequately protect the rights and livelihoods of Alaska Native
Peoples. As our state economy continues to rely on Alaska’s rich natural resources, we need to
ensure that Alaska Native Peoples play a central role, both guiding regulatory oversight and
environmental stewardship and sharing in the economic benefits. As representative, I will work
with Native communities to:
• Safeguard subsistence rights, including game management, and protect Alaska Native
People’s lands and resources.

• Foster active partnership with Alaska Native People’s communities on all economic
development initiatives.
• Develop strategic plans to pursue economic development that concurrently protects
natural environments and indigenous activities and prioritize benefits to the local
indigenous peoples.
• Work closely with Alaska Native leaders on environmental and subsistence issues.
Fiscal Sustainability
A sustainable economy and society must be built on a foundation of sustainable governance.
This means taxation and spending policies should support legitimate public needs but be
limited to avoid becoming onerous to families and businesses.
I am proud that my father helped devise a uniquely Alaskan solution to this challenge. As
Attorney General under Governor Jay Hammond, he helped to create the Alaska Permanent
Fund (APF). This is a great example of sustainable governance. For nearly 50 years, Alaskans
have been putting revenue from our oil and other resources in the APF and into the hands of
Alaskans. The APF has allowed us to fund government without a state sales or personal income
tax and provide an annual dividend check generated from APF profits.
Public endowments (also known as a “sovereign wealth fund”) are such a good idea that ten
states have some form of one – although Alaska’s is the largest. State endowments impose
long-term fiscal responsibility and proper government stewardship. Over time, states with
endowment funds like Alaska’s see increased support for services like education and health,
without increased taxes. They create sustainable policies overall, not just “sustainability”
The Federal government would be wise to incentivize states to build endowment funds by
offering matching money. With your vote, I will take this approach to Washington so that
governments across the country can fund services that are needed.
As representative I will:
• Introduce legislation to provide federal matching funds for state endowments like the
APF. This would increase the amount going into the Permanent Fund each year, which
will help fund state operations and increase the Permanent Fund Dividend. This will help
ensure stable funding for services in Alaska like education and health care, more
sustainable use of natural resources, and more responsible government finances that
rely less on taxes – both here and across the country, keeping both state and federal
taxes low.
I will also ensure that the Federal Government always pays its fair share and support expanded
and stable impact aid for communities affected by the federal funding of the Payments in Lieu
of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS)
programs. In many communities in our state, the federal government owns most, or almost all,
of the land but pays none of the property taxes that support police, fire departments, other
emergency services, and our schools. PILT and SRS programs are renewed every two years. This
funding mechanism leaves local governments and schools in a state of constant financial
uncertainty. I will fight to make these vital programs permanent. As a recent report from the
Center for American Progress (CAP) concluded, “The lack of consistent, guaranteed funding

makes payments unpredictable and long-term budget planning difficult. PILT payments also do
not fully compensate counties for the benefits that protected lands provide the country,
particularly in gateway communities that require extra infrastructure and services to support
tourism and outdoor recreation. The PILT formula’s shortfall tips the scale toward shortsighted
decisions—such as drilling and mining activities—that may generate immediate revenue but are
bad for the long-term health and resilience of local communities.” CAP recommends improving
the PILT program by adding a “gateway community dividend” for counties amounting to a 50%
premium for every acre of permanently protected public lands, noting, “this would provide
additional payment to counties that have protected public lands within their jurisdiction,
particularly those lands that restrict extractive activity, such as wilderness areas and national
parks.” Alaska would see an immediate increase in its funding of over $66 million annually –
about one-third of all the payments nationally – more than tripling our current PILT amounts. I
will sponsor legislation in Congress to make this proposal a reality. As CAP concluded, “The
gateway community dividend should be paired with the permanent extension and funding of
the PILT program to ensure a predictable and sustainable funding stream for counties.”

The Arctic Century
Alaska is known for its extreme climate and geography. As previously discussed, these extremes
place us at the frontier of climate change and at the center of coming economic and
geopolitical developments. The changing climate, the need for new energy resources, and the
increasing challenges these pose for national security are all closely related to increased global
interest in the Arctic, and present Alaska with both enormous opportunities and enormous
Consistent with other sections of my plan, the following proposals emphasize research and
development that is naturally suited to Alaska, with significant potential for commercial
development. Success in any of these realms could significantly increase the number of jobs in
our state.
Arctic Science
Arctic science has important applications in national defense; shipping, commerce and logistics;
and public policymaking. The United States General Accounting Office found that the DoD’s
assessment of extreme weather and climate change risks relied on past experience, rather than
an analysis of future vulnerabilities informed by climate projections. We desperately need to
improve our military’s understanding of, and ability to fight in, arctic conditions. According to
Navy Rear Adm. John Okon, commander of Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command,
“we’re a hundred years behind understanding the conditions of where we’ll have to defend the
homeland and our partners." To address this gap, we must invest in cutting-edge research in
Alaska. The resulting expertise could also generate significant economic benefits.
The University of Alaska, Fairbanks, is a recognized global leader in arctic research. The United
States Department of Interior supports eight Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC),
including one at UAF’s International Arctic Research Center Alaska (AK CASC), to “provide
scientific information, tools, and techniques that those interested in land, water, wildlife, and
cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor and adapt to climate change. The AK CASC

works to increase our understanding of how Alaska’s ecosystems and resources are responding
to a changing climate. This is done by building partnerships between academic scientists, state
and federal agency scientists, resource managers, tribal leaders, and decision makers.”
Similarly, UA’s Center for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) “facilitates sharing of UA expertise in
Arctic issues – ranging from natural resources to engineering to political science – with policy-
and decision-makers.” The significant knowledge and expertise accumulated at these research
centers spans a wide range of disciplines, and it can and should be marshaled to address
today’s pressing issues. In response to changing arctic conditions, the Arctic Research
Community has identified a number of continuing research needs, including:
• Predicting future states of sea ice, land ice, permafrost, and wildfires
• Mechanisms generating arctic storms and predicting storms
• Bathymetric charting
• Pathways and risks of climate engineering
• Human health impacts of environmental change
• Impacts of environmental changes and harvests on fisheries, and
• Impacts of increased Arctic shipping
As your representative I will:
• Leverage UAF’s global leadership in Arctic (and other) research to attract further federal
funding. The federal government needs to support UAF’s International Arctic Research
Center in its mission to serve as an international hub for disseminating information on
Arctic change to wider audiences. In particular, I’ll push for increased funding through
the Department of Interior’s CASC program.
• Promote international Arctic collaboration partnerships – led by Alaska experts –
advancing cross-disciplinary research and co-creating the research agenda with
indigenous communities, policy experts, and other stakeholders, including pursuing
funding opportunities for pan-Arctic integration of knowledge and collaboration.
• Develop federal programs to tap into Native Alaskan Peoples’ knowledge of ice-flow,
melting conditions, and shifting weather patterns, and to collect detailed weather data
observations at sites across the Arctic for use in computer modeling. This has relevant
applications in everything from national defense and military operations to shipping,
commerce and logistics, to public policymaking and pure scientific knowledge.
Space Operations
Alaska’s proximity to the North Pole has uniquely positioned us as a gateway to earth-orbit for
commercial space operations. This is an industry about to come into its own.
Alaska’s Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island has traditionally focused on military and
NASA payloads, and only one or two per year at that. But it has the potential to become an
"economic hub" for the region. The frequency of commercial launches increasing, and since the
Kodiak facility is one of only two locations in the United States from which to put a payload into
polar orbit, commercial missions on Kodiak Island are expected to more than double this year.

Mark Lester, president of Alaska Aerospace, which owns and operates the spaceport, expects
the annual number of private launches to grow to 36 within the next four years. With this year
marking the first private launch of humans into space, commercial space operations are literally
ready for lift-off, and Alaska is well positioned to lead this new industry.
As representative I will continue to position the Pacific Spaceport Complex as the federal
government's choice for further launches, while expanding capacity for commercial launches. In
support of this, I will work to bolster funding for the Office of Spaceports within the FAA's Office
of Commercial Space Transportation, and to increase funding for the National Space Grant
College and Fellowship Program, which encourages the participation of female and minority
students and faculty – especially Alaska Native Peoples – in Alaska Space Grant Programs,
connects students to NASA higher education programs, and supports workforce development.

Unmanned Aircraft
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft operated without a human pilot on board. These
unmanned aircraft have been called a potential “economic game changer” for Alaska, thanks in
large part to our state’s remoteness and limited accessibility. They are operated autonomously
or via remote control and are often used in situations where human use could endanger the
pilot. These capabilities offer a wide range of military and civilian applications. For example,
they can be used to cost-effectively monitor pipelines and other infrastructure in Alaska and
rest of United States and thereby help protect Alaska’s environment. Civil use of unmanned
aircraft is growing quickly as restrictions loosen. In the near future, such aircraft will be
delivering goods door-to-door all over the world.
This means there is a valuable window of opportunity for Alaska to seize a leadership role in
this growing industry. And thanks to researchers at UAF, we are already poised to do so. A team
from UAF’s Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft System Integration was the first in the country
to complete an FAA-approved domestic flight beyond visual line of sight with an unmanned
aircraft system. The FAA wants to conduct further research on such flights, without putting
human populations at risk, and see how UAVs function in colder climates. Alaska provides the
perfect setting for this continued research.
As your representative I will push for Federal Aviation Administration approval for further
commercial beyond-visual-line-of-sight unmanned aircraft flights in Alaska. This will place
Alaska at the helm of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot program, a national
initiative from the United States Department of Transportation and the White House.
Autonomous Vehicles
Just as Alaska is the perfect place to study and design autonomous aircraft, our state is also an
excellent location for the ongoing testing of autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars.
Autonomous vehicles are a major source of innovation and technological development in the
automotive industry. They have the potential to better serve riders with mobility concerns,
improve efficiency, and increase automotive safety. The global market for autonomous vehicles
is currently estimated at just under seven thousand units and is expected to expand 63.1% per
year over the next decade, to several million by 2030. This fast-growing industry has vast
potential to create stable, well-paying jobs for Alaskans, including as engineers, account
managers, technicians, and field representatives.

As your representative I will:
• Press the United States Department of Transportation to authorize Alaska (outside of
downtown urban areas) as a test site for driverless cars without the exemptions
required to operate them elsewhere. Due to Alaska’s abundance of open and sparsely
populated terrain, it is the ideal place to test such vehicles.
• Ensure continued federal funding for automated vehicle research and development
programs – and make sure some of that money goes to Alaska. Congress has authorized
multi-million demonstration grants for municipalities and universities, but none of the
money awarded has gone to Alaska. I will work to change that.
• Support legislation to ensure that autonomous vehicles meet minimum safety standards
when operating on our roads. Congress needs to get past its ineffectuality in addressing
this issue. I will push for legislation like the AV START bill in Congress to establish a
unified federal framework for AV safety and set timelines for AV safety standards by the
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to UAA’s Professor Darren Prokop, UAA is a logistics powerhouse, and logistics are
the powerhouse of the economy. The logistics industry includes fleet management,
warehousing, inventory management, inbound and outbound transportation management, and
other services that facilitate the flow of goods via integrated supply chain networks. Some
estimate that the logistics industry comprises up to 10% of United States GDP, nearing two
trillion dollars. Recent and ongoing growth in the industry has been attributed to the rise of e-
commerce, which is expected to account for 7% of all United States retail sales by 2023.
Consequently, jobs in logistics, from hands-on to the most sophisticated software engineering,
are growing at a rate of 7% annually.
Thanks to our unique geographic advantages, Alaska is literally ideally positioned for this
industry. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is one of the top air cargo facilities in the
world, equidistant between New York and Tokyo, and 9.5 hours or less by air from 90% of the
industrialized world. "The advantage of Anchorage is airplanes can fly filled with cargo but only
half-filled with fuel. They fly into Anchorage and then they re-fuel and then onto their
destination," according to airport manager Jim Szczesniak.
Alaska is perfectly situated to be one of the world’s major transshipment centers of goods, by
both air and sea, and we’re already building on that geographical advantage. We have a strong
foundation of in-state expertise thanks to longstanding undergraduate and graduate logistics
and supply chain management programs at the UAA and logistics support units hosted at Fort
Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks. The United States Department of Transportation issued a
$200 million “Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development” (BUILD) grant in 2020 to
construct a $200 million air cargo complex at Ted Stevens International Airport, which will
contribute to Alaska’s existing transshipment capability. Logistics is a great match for Alaska’s
economy, and we should continue to expand our capabilities to take advantage of this booming
As your representative I will continue work to make Alaska a logistics hub for both commercial
and military transshipment between North America and Asia. This will mean continuing to

secure funding to expand Ted Stevens airport as an intercontinental cargo processing hub. I will
also push to expand the logistics operation at Fort Wainwright Army Base into the military’s
Arctic-Pacific logistics center, similar to what currently exists at Dover Air Force Base in
Delaware for logistical operations in Europe and the Middle East.
Remote Sensing
Remote sensing describes the collection of data and information at extreme distances. These
distances are too great for traditional observation techniques. For example, remote sensing can
allow data collection between points where the curvature of the earth intrudes, enabling us to
“peer around corners” and observe things that would normally be blocked.
This amazing technology has a wide range of applications, including mapping forest fires,
tracking clouds to predict weather, and monitoring gradual growth of cities or changes to
natural environments. As a result, remote sensing technology is of increasing importance and
value to many fields, including agriculture, the military, environmental protection, economic
projections, mining, insurance, data analysis, and mapping.
Alaska is, unsurprisingly, an excellent location to conduct remote sensing research and
development. If you want “remote,” Alaska has it in abundance. Remote sensing is also heavily
dependent upon satellites and manned and unmanned aircraft to gather the necessary
information. As previously described, Alaska has the capacity to provide these types of
infrastructural support. In fact, we are already leaders in remote sensing research: the UAF
Remote Sensing group is rated as one of the top programs in the United States and Top 100 in
the entire world. This group studies things like sea-ice dynamics, permafrost-affected landscape
change, ground deformation, volcanic-hazard monitoring, wildfire monitoring and mitigation,
and planetary science.
As your representative I will promote Alaska as a center for Remote Sensing Excellence and
secure more federal funding for more asynchronous satellites and more satellite antennas for
NASA and commercial customers
Distance Technologies
The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that distance technologies for education and
health care communication are an important part of the future. As distance technologies
become a central feature of daily life, Alaska can lead the way for the rest of the country and
the world. Connecting people across vast distances for work, education, health care, comes
naturally to Alaskans. UAF has been delivering distance learning to thousands of students in
over 100 rural communities across the state for over 20 years and the Alaska Tribal health care
system is a world expert in using telehealth in rural Alaska.

However, we are falling behind other states in capitalizing on the opportunities distance
technology creates, at precisely the moment when these opportunities are exploding.
Facebook, Google and other tech giants in Silicon Valley have announced that they intend to
allow and encourage more remote work on a permanent basis. Many such young people would
love to live an Alaska lifestyle, and we ought to be doing everything we can to attract them.
Laying the foundation with distance technology is the first step.
As your representative I will:

• Support efforts to make online learning accessible to all Americans who otherwise lack
computers and online connections. I will push for extensive federal legislation and funding
to augment remote learning systems and research best practices and potential obstacles,
invest in and build partnerships to develop Alaska’s expertise to guide this issue nationally –
and work with state leaders to make Alaska a leader in this technology once again. I also will
work to ensure that federal regulations demand high-quality programs without stifling
innovation to make sure that children are getting the best possible educations when
learning online.
• Support expansion of telehealth opportunities, particularly in remote places that do not
have consistent access to in-person appointments.
• Continue to support funding for federal efforts to promote the development of virtual
commuting capabilities in remote areas and small cities across the country so that the high-
growth tech industries can be dispersed to a wider area of the country and more tech
workers can choose to enjoy life in places like Alaska.
As I have discussed throughout my plan, Alaska is truly unique. It has more mountains, glaciers,
and wildlife than just about anywhere else in the world. Alaska is an ever-popular destination
with more people than ever visiting the 49th state. In fact, prior to Covid-19, visitation records
have been set year-after-year, with an estimated 2.26 million visitors traveling to Alaska
between May and September 2019. In 2018, 1,169,000 traveled by cruise ship, 760,100 were
air visitors, and 97,200 were highway/ferry visitors. There are thousands of businesses that
depend on the passengers coming to Alaska to take their tours, dine in their restaurants, and
stay in their guest rooms. Tourists spend money on tours as well as public land permits,
campgrounds, hotel stays, rental cars, food, laundry services, airline tickets, gifts, equipment
and more. As the pandemic resolves, we must ensure that Alaska’s unique beauty and amazing
wildness help propel Alaska tourism renewal. Besides traditional tourism we should promote:
• Sustainable, eco-friendly and adventure tourism – These are high-growth, high-margin
industries that can help expand our tourism and service sectors. The Alaska Travel
Industry Association (ATIA) has established the Adventure Green Alaska (AGA)
certificate program for sustainable tourism businesses operating in Alaska. Since 2009,
AGA has recognized and promoted Alaska tourism businesses that practice economic,
environmental, social and cultural sustainability. This certificate program can help
promote these businesses.
• Strengthening data collection to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the
state’s outdoor consumer base. Currently, multiple agencies collect tourism and
outdoor recreation data and there are significant gaps that limit the accuracy of
economic impact estimates.
• Support the Alaska Long Trail – As the Alaska Trails website says, “From the Camino de
Santiago in Spain to the Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal, the Inca Trail in Peru to the
Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails in the United States, long trails have captured the
attention of travelers the world over. With some of the most stunning wilderness in the
world, Alaska is long overdue in creating a world class long trail of its own. Long trails

engage visitors in everything from simple day hikes to multi-week, bucket list lifetime
accomplishments. Alaska Trails and its partners are proposing such a route connecting
Fairbanks and Seward. This first 500-mile segment could ultimately expand into a 2000+
mile trail extending north from Fairbanks to the Brooks Range and the North Slope, and
south to a future SE Long Trail, following an alluring mix of trails and ferry rides. Many
sections of the proposed trail already exist or are currently planned, and the route is
almost entirely on public lands, enormously reducing the complexity and cost. It’s time
for Alaska to invest in its future by creating a route that will stand with the other great
long trails of the world.”
Besides being a place that draws tourists, to visit, Alaska should also be a place that invites
ambitious young people to stay. Our outdoor lifestyle is a great potential attraction for young
entrepreneurs who might make Alaska home. Alaska has the highest rates in the nation of
participation in outdoor recreation overall, as well as in fishing and hunting. Six out of ten
Alaskans say outdoor recreation opportunities are an important reason for living in the state.
According to the National Association of Realtors, four of the seven most important factors in
an American deciding where to live concern outdoor recreation. This suggests that Alaska could
be an extremely appealing place for energetic young people from elsewhere in the country to
build a life.
As your representative I will develop seed funding for an effort to support young adults looking
to move to less populace states like Alaska. Too much of the country’s economic growth has
been concentrated in a very small number of metro areas. Some communities, such as Tulsa,
Oklahoma, have started funds to encourage such moves; for small rural states like Alaska, the
federal government ought to match these funds to attract young professionals and further
develop the state economy.
In summary, there is a wide range of things we can do to capitalize on Alaska’s extreme
opportunities. As your representative, I’ll be working every day to do just that.

Technology, Transportation & Training

Investing in Our Future
Alaska’s position at the frontier of the 21st Century’s geopolitical challenges and opportunities
situates us to attract the industries and workers of the future. To get there, we need federal
leadership to provide financial capital, strong infrastructure, and investments in our people. The
recently passed bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is a great start. This is what I will continue to fight
for in Washington.
Investing in Alaska
Job-creators—the entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small and large businesses of all types—need
financial capital. As representative, I will work with others in Alaska to build the financial
infrastructure needed to support a booming economy. We need to build a finance industry and
a culture of entrepreneurship. I will introduce legislation to increase access to the resources
small businesses and start-ups need, by:
• Increasing federal support for credit unions and community banks.

• Making the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology
Transfer (SBTTR) programs more robust and diversifying the balance of fund recipients
(currently female owners receive only 11% of funds, and socially or economically
disadvantaged owners receive only 8%).
• Offering tax credits for businesses in highly concentrated, high-growth fields to relocate
and/or hire employees in underserved geographical areas.
• Expanding funding for the federal government’s Social Innovation Fund to support
initiatives that create economic growth and benefit the broader public good.
• Increasing federal funding for rural entrepreneurship opportunities, including for
sustainable farming.
• Cutting red-tape and simplifying the process of applying for federal funding programs.
• Creating “one-stop shops” to provide information for entrepreneurs at every step of the
business-formation process, from registration to compliance and filing to succession
• Instituting technical assistance programs for small business owners to connect with
government agencies and larger entities for contracting opportunities.
• Promoting federal support for microloans, business training, and technical assistance to
rural microentrepreneurs and micro-borrowers.
• Expanding Small Business Administration entrepreneurship programs. Young people
would benefit from more opportunities to start their own businesses and pursue bold
new ideas as entrepreneurs.
• Facilitating partnerships between innovative Alaskans and federal funders like the
Economic Development Administration, the National Endowments for the Arts and for
the Humanities, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development
Block Grant program, the Transportation Enhancement Program and the USDA Rural
Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).
• Working to ease student-debt repayment burdens and develop a federal strategic plan
to boost entrepreneurship, with investments and mentoring opportunities targeted
especially to diverse and historically marginalized communities including Alaska Native
I’ll also work with Alaska state officials to build an in-state capital industry:
• The Alaska Permanent Fund currently has over $65 billion in assets under management
– much of it managed outside Alaska. Recently have we begun to target a portion of
these investments to in-state development. We need to expand the in-state targeting of
investments and bootstrap an in-state investment management industry by dedicating
management of a portion of the fund, and providing incentives, to in-state investment
• Explore the creation of a State Bank. North Dakota–like Alaska, a sparsely-populated,
energy-producing state with traditional values—has a century-old state bank. The Bank

of North Dakota partners with private banks to provide loans to small business, farmers,
and students. Support and guidance from this public bank has helped the state’s private
banks remain strong and locally based. As a result, North Dakota has more banks per
capita than any state. And because of that, in the midst of the Corvid-19 pandemic,
North Dakota distributed more money per worker through the Paycheck Protection
Program than any other state. An Alaska State Bank could provide the financial
infrastructure needed to support local economic growth.
• We must also prioritize pursuing smarter strategies for capitalizing on the value of
federal lands for economic development, including by exploring the possibility of
constructing renewable energy projects.
Investing in Infrastructure
The greatest impediment to our economic success is the additional cost of living incurred by our
distance and remoteness. For both families and businesses to thrive here in Alaska, we must
lower the cost of living and the cost of business by providing stronger transportation and
communications infrastructure. The recent bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was supported
by Alaska’s Congressional delegation, is a great start, with funding for Alaska’s roads, ferries,
airlinks, and broadband. As your representative I will continue to invest in Alaskan
infrastructure to spur the development of sustainable local energy sources, promote energy
efficiency, create manufacturing opportunities for this new energy economy, encourage
innovative spin-offs from military technology and scientific research, and preserve foundational
industries like agriculture and fishing. I will seek sustained and increased federal investment in
Alaska roads, airports, ferries, rural broadband, and postal services.
Federal Funding for Roads
Over 80% of Alaska communities are inaccessible by road. But where we do have roads, they’re
ranked at best “fair” – Alaska roads got a C- in the most recent Infrastructure Report Card from
the American Society of Civil Engineers. Fortunately, thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure bill,
Alaska will receive an estimated $3.5 billion in funding for our roads and highways. It’s
important now that we sustain federal support in the future and spend this funding wisely. We
must also consider the challenges that our infrastructure will face in the years to come and
build roads and highways that can withstand Alaska’s variable climate. Thawing permafrost,
caused by climate change, is already seriously affecting Alaska highways and putting a strain on
the state budget. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (December 2016)
estimated that mean annual climate-related damages to infrastructure in Alaska would be
between $142M and $181M in the 2030 era, which equates to 14 – 18% of the 2017 capital
budget request for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

There are ways to address this, such as building thicker embankments to keep heat away or
installing pipes to vent out warmth. But ultimately, we need to invest in infrastructure that is
resilient to future changes.
In Congress I will:
• Address disparities in rural transportation infrastructure by supporting Rural
Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES).

• Work in conjunction with climate-change programs to develop additional creative
funding solutions for restoring the Alaska Highway and other Alaska roads, as Alaska’s
roads are particularly vulnerable to the changing climate.
• Support development of State Future Funds. These are federally supported revolving
loan funds that encourage innovative transportation systems, energy infrastructure, and
flood protections in areas that need them the most, including low-income areas and
communities of color. These will be modeled on existing revolving funds that have been
successful in funding clean water infrastructure, and will expand investments in
renewable energy, residential and commercial energy-efficiency improvements, regional
transportation services, electric-vehicle charging stations, and job-training programs,
among other critical future-ready investments.
• Responsibly balance expanding Alaskans’ road access with preservation of our state’s
natural resources and environment. As we develop a broad road network, I will work to
protect Alaska wildlife. Development will be informed by rigorous environmental impact
reports that assess potential effects in a streamlined fashion, without prolonging the
regulatory and permitting process.
Alaska depends on air connections so much that we have more airports than any other state.
We have nearly three times as many as California, which comes in number two. These air links
are essential. Not only do they keep our economy running, they also provide connections to
health care, and sustain people’s very lives. Recurrent investment in airports and maintenance
of existing air links is absolutely necessary for Alaska.
In Congress, I will:
• Fight for full funding of the Essential Air Service Program. About one-fifth of this funding
goes to airports in Alaska and Hawaii (mostly Alaska).
• Continue to support the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement
Program (AIP), which did receive significant funding in the recent infrastructure bill. The
FAA AIP provides grants to public agencies for planning, installing and expanding
runways, gates, and taxiways and improving runway lighting and navigation.
Alaska’s Marine Highway System
Following the passage of the FY 2020 budget, the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) saw
$44 million cut from its funding, a 31% reduction. Many communities have endured months
without dependable ferry service. Lack of ferry access impacts every aspect of coastal Alaskans’
lives: our ability to access medical, dental and vet care, groceries and essential supplies, school
trips for sports and other events, vehicle maintenance, and more. The loss of ferry service also
affects well-being in other ways, with many residents feeling isolated. The returns on ferry
service for Alaskans are abundantly clear: every dollar invested in AMHS yields two dollars in
economic benefits. The current infrastructure bill does have money for ferries, including
• $1 billion for a new program that establishes an essential ferry service to support rural
communities. This program, which was proposed by Senator Murkowski, will provide
funding to the Alaska Marine Highway System.

• $250 million for an electric or low-emitting ferry pilot program, with at least one pilot to
be conducted in Alaska.
• $342 million for the Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities, of which
Alaska should receive $73 million. This provides an authorization for recipients of
funding under the program to spend on ferry “operating costs”.
In Washington, I will fight to:
• Always support federal funding for our ferries.
• Protect the transportation needs of Alaskans from political influence so that residents
know they have a consistent system upon which they can rely.
• Support Ketchikan as a marine infrastructure hub for construction and maintenance of
our ferry system. I am a strong supporter of the Jones Act, both for National Security
reasons and for Alaska jobs.

Much of Alaska is so remote that our transportation infrastructure does not readily connect
with the rest of the world. However, virtual connections can make a difference in education,
health care, and business. Fortunately, four major international broadband cables intersect in
Alaska, providing links to Asia, Europe, and a new 300-mile-long terrestrial fiber-optic cable
network stretching from North Pole, Alaska to the Canadian border. This broadband nexus
significantly improves Alaska’s opportunities for physical trade and the transshipment of data
and information. However, we need to bring this connectivity to our entire state. Fortunately,
in March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure
and services in rural America. The Infrastructure bill passed in 2021 also has significant funding
for improved rural broadband. The bill provides $42 billion in grants to states for the
deployment of broadband, with a minimum allocation of $100 million for each state. There is a
dedicated carve out for high-cost areas for broadband deployment and $600 million for states
to issue private activity bonds for deployment in rural areas. Additionally, there is $2 billion for
tribes through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant Program and $1 billion for Middle Mile
Broadband Infrastructure grants.
As your representative, I will:
• Continue to support all funding for rural broadband infrastructure across all federal
funding sources.
• Simplify federal permitting and compliance that complicates broadband development,
establishing clarity amongst the various entities that manage Alaskan land, including the
Department of Defense, Bureau of Land Management, and the USDA Forest Service.
• Explore potential partnerships to strengthen network resiliency and diversity, such as
engaging Canadian telecom networks at critical border points in places like Southeast
Postal Service

The Postal Service is essential infrastructure that all Americans rely on. This is especially true in
a rural state like ours. Post offices allow us to conduct our business, to stay connected and
communicate with each other, to receive our Social Security checks and the medications we
need. The USPS – one of the oldest and most successful public institutions in our country –
must be supported fully. The Postal Service Reform Act passed earlier this year was supported
by Don Young. I will continue his legacy of strongly supporting the USPS.
Investing in Our People
Island economies may be defined as being far from the mainland (e.g., Ireland and Iceland); or,
while part of the larger mainland, are effectively islands because they are political and
economically isolated from the countries they border (e.g., Israel and Estonia). In recent
decades, many of these island or island-like nations have emerged as global economic forces,
with economic power far exceeding what their natural resources and population sizes might
predict. The key to their economic success is leadership in advanced technologies that grew
directly out of significant investments in human capital. These investments included the entire
learning pipeline, from early childhood through primary, secondary and higher education, and
on to job-skill acquisition and lifelong learning.
Alaska, in its isolation and remoteness, bears a striking resemblance to these island economies.
However, we don’t lack for natural resources. As I’ve noted throughout this plan, we must
leverage these resources into economic opportunities through advanced technologies and
investing in our people. Here in Alaska,
• We have a need for new technologies that help us make our extractive industries
cleaner in order to protect our other valuable resources – from our water and land to
our people and cultures.
• We have the ability – again, like most islands but unlike most other carbon-extraction
economies – to use new technologies to take the lead on the new energy sources like
wind, wave, and geothermal that will power the 21st Century.
• We have the opportunity to use our strategic location, national security assets, and
unique geography, space, and weather to become a center of some of the most crucial
technological developments of the century.
Alaska is thus uniquely poised to capitalize on its current resources to build an economy based
on tomorrow’s technologies. All of these technologies will require manufacturing and
construction, so investments in their development will create jobs across the employment
spectrum and benefit all Alaskans. Ultimately, the development and capitalization of these
technologies – and Alaska’s future – depend on our people. Investing in our people is the most
important thing we can do to move our economy forward. Above all else, that – your family,
and your future – is what I will fight for in Washington.
World-Class Education from Childhood to Adulthood
Economists agree that one of the fundamental ways to provide economic growth in Alaska is to
provide our children with a quality education and attract and retain university students. The
best way to raise wages and incomes, and to create jobs, is to invest in education and job
training. Studies have found that a college degree boosts lifetime earnings by a total of $1
million. Evidence also suggests that high quality early childhood education can increase

adulthood earnings by 1.3 – 3.5% and that there is nearly a 20% jump in earnings between
individuals with less than a high school education compared to those with a high school
diploma. The most recent figures for the Alaska’s vocational training and education program
showed that between 61 and 70% of those who completed training were employed six months
after completing their programs, with median wages varying from $27,000 to $51,000 per year.
I believe that education is essential to our state’s – and our nation’s – future. I’ll vote to
improve education from top-to-bottom and to invest in our people from early childhood
through primary, secondary and higher education, and on into workforce training, adult
education, and lifelong learning. We need to ensure that our public education system is as
robust and effective as any in the world. However, we’ve got our work cut out for us:
• Despite significant growth in the last decade, Alaska’s graduation rate is considerably
lower than the national average.
• Retaining Alaska teachers costs more than $20 million a year, with rural districts
experiencing double the turnover of urban districts. High teacher turnover leads to
lower student achievement.
• Since our state is largely rural, many schools are relatively small, educating 50 students
or fewer and leading to disproportionately high operation costs. Our high energy and
health care costs also increase expenses. In rural communities, as little as 5% of
students may have Internet access.
• Indigenous students face lower educational outcomes than other Alaskans. These
students have long been under-served by our educational system. Tribal input in
indigenous education is needed to address these historical inequities thoroughly and
• As the father of recent graduates, I also know how important a college education can
be, and how cost-prohibitive higher education is for many Alaskans.
As your representative, I will:
• Fight to increase investment in early childhood education. This will include increasing
federal Head Start grant funding and improving childcare access for Alaska Native
People’s children (only a fifth of whom attend a nursery or preschool and a third of
whom live in households below the Federal Poverty Line) in a way that empowers
Alaska Native People’s sovereignty. I will also work to provide continued federal funding
and support for childcare centers and ensure that childcare providers are paid a living
wage that compensates them fairly for the vital work that they do and prevents attrition
from the childcare workforce.
• Support legislation to strengthen K-12 data systems to better understand the unique
needs of Alaskan students and allow for more effective strategies and interventions.
• Bolster funding for federal education labs that conduct research on evidence-based
educational interventions to gain a national understanding of effective ways to increase
the graduation rate.

• Provide support to increase teacher salaries. As representative, I will address the
educator pay gap by:
o Increasing teacher pay (including for teaching assistants and paraprofessionals)
through bolstering Title I funding. This will help fully staff our schools and give
educators the support they need as they try to help students recover from the
major educational, social, and developmental disruptions of the pandemic.
o Supporting legislation that provides a federal match for teacher pay, and thereby
incentivizes states to increase teacher salaries.
o Pursuing federal funding for comprehensive “Grow Your Own” programs to
cultivate local teaching talent in our schools.
o Helping to finance teaching degrees.
o Broadening eligibility criteria for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program so that
rural schools and teachers have more opportunities to benefit from the program.
o Strengthening support for Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher
Education (TEACH) Grants, which assist with college payments for individuals
intending to teach in a high-need field in a low-income area.
• Fight to secure funding for increased behavioral and mental health resources for
students in primary and secondary school. Kids across the country have experienced
significant learning loss, increased mental health crises, and serious disruptions to their
lives due to the pandemic. It’s our job to provide them with the tools and support they
need to succeed.
• Push for increased federal support for rural schools, which are underfunded in Alaska
and across the country. I will propose legislation to strengthen and ensure continued
support for the Small, Rural School Achievement Program, which provides local
education agencies with financial initiatives to fund student achievement initiatives.
Almost six in ten Alaska schools and a quarter of Alaska public school students are
located in a rural school district, and many rural schools educate Alaska Native People’s
students. Rural schools face challenges in resources, often due to limited tax bases, and
often struggle with attracting teachers, declining enrollment, and reduced access to
educational and cultural resources. Rural students also face challenges; fully 15.6% of
rural school-aged children in Alaska live in poverty. Rural students in Alaska graduate at
a lower rate than any other state (72.3% graduation rate, compared to 88.7% national
average for rural schools).
• Maintain Impact Aid designed to assist local school districts that have lost property tax
revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt federal property. (This would augment the
improvements to the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools and
Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) programs discussed above.)
• Push the federal Department of Education to facilitate collaboration and service sharing
amongst rural Alaskan school districts, such as through service cooperatives, by
sponsoring a competitive grant program centered around sharing services in rural areas.

• Protect funding and increase investment in the Perkins grant program. This program
provides federal support for career and technical education programs (CTEs), which are
incredibly valuable vehicles for rural students to enter high-wage careers. Between 2007
and 2017, total federal grant funding through the Perkins program was reduced by
almost $170 million.
• Address health barriers for rural students by combatting attempts to cap Medicaid
funding and limit reimbursement for important health care services provided by rural
school districts.
• Invest in remote learning, as described above in “Distance Technologies.” I will advocate
for legislation and funding to bolster remote learning systems, research best practices
and obstacles, build partnerships, and work with state leaders to center Alaska as a
national leader in remote learning, an industry that Covid-19 has shown is essential to
our students’ future.
• Help facilitate partnerships and collaboration, led by Alaska Native People’s
communities, among researchers, decisionmakers, and rural communities to address
these pressing issues.
• Support robust funding for trade schools.
• Provide additional training opportunities for the fastest-growing sectors that are likely
to see continued growth in Alaska.
• Introduce legislation to provide states like Alaska with greater flexibility to meet their
own unique workforce needs under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity
Act (WIOA). We need sector-specific, targeted training partnerships to align training
with the local job market, and we can leverage our community college system to ensure
that workers gain transferable skills. Bringing more federal training dollars to Alaska and
scaling up investment in job training and apprenticeship programs would allow the re-
establishment of dedicated programs for clean energy infrastructure manufacturing and
construction job training and placement.
• Fight to make college more affordable and accessible for all Alaskans, including by
seeking to double the maximum annual Pell Grant award to $12,000 and expanding
eligibility for middle-class families.
Raising Wages and Protecting Working People
Fighting for working Alaskans and investing in our human capital means making sure that
everyone receives an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. We need protections for
workers that include a decent minimum wage, decent working conditions, and the right to
bargain collectively for both of these.
As your representative I will:
• Fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
• Fix the current pension system. Many Alaskans work in jobs like construction, longshore
work, as teamsters, or in manufacturing, covered my multi-employer pension plans.
They’ve paid into these plans throughout their careers expecting to receive a pension at

the end of the day – but now many of those pensions are at serious risk of insolvency:
Roughly one-in-eight will run dry within 20 years. The aggregate funded ratio of
multiemployer pension plans labeled as “critical and declining” last year – the ones
we’re most concerned about – stood at a shocking 37%; the number of endangered
plans, and their funding status, will only grow worse with the current economic
downturn. That’s why I support the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, also
known as the Butch Lewis Act. This would create a new division in the Treasury called
the Pension Rehabilitation Administration to provide low-interest loans and bonds to
“critical and declining” multiemployer pension plans, in order to keep them solvent and
give them time to shore up their investments. The most recent Congressional Budget
Office analysis concluded that this would cost taxpayers less than half of what it will cost
if we simply allow the existing Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
multiemployer program to fail. I will work to safeguard employee pensions and to insist
on cleaning up their plans’ finances, to protect both workers and taxpayers.
• Advocate for the repeal of “right-to-work” laws under the Taft-Hartley Act.
• Ensure the federal government enforces current wage protections so that workers on
taxpayer-funded projects can expect to earn at least the median wage in our state.
• Support the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize) to impose more severe penalties
for corporations that retaliate against employees for organizing.
• Close tax loopholes that encourage companies to outsource jobs to places like China.
• Protect public-sector workers, too. A higher percentage of Alaskans – over 25% – work
in the public sector than in any other state. In Congress I will push to restore and protect
federal worker contracts that have been eliminated or disbanded by the Federal Service
Impasses Panel and replaced with management-imposed edicts. I will also support the
Public Safety Employer Employee Cooperation Act and Public Service Freedom to
Negotiate Act to provide a federal guarantee for public sector employees to bargain for
better pay and benefits and working conditions.

Investing in the NEXT Economy

As I have discussed throughout this plan, there are multiple technologies and tech-centered
industries on which Alaska is poised to be a leader. I am excited to work as your next
representative to invest in the financial infrastructure, the physical infrastructure and the
human capital to grow these and other opportunities into reality:
• Arctic security • Addressing algal bloom crises
• Cyber security • Oil-spill containment and cleanup
• Responsible oil extraction • Plastic upcycling
• Wind, solar, geothermal and tidal • Arctic science
energy technology • Extreme weather and climate
• Microgrids response
• Battery and energy storage • Space operations
technology • Unmanned aircraft
• Rare earth elements extraction and • Autonomous vehicles
refinement • Logistics
• Graphite extraction and refinement • Remote sensing
• Strengthening our ocean economy • Distance technologies
• Improving weather and ocean • Telemedicine
forecasting • Distance education
• Rebuilding and better managing fish


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