Murkowski talks climate with Alaskans

November 01, 2018

In stark contrast to comments made by her delegation mate earlier this week, EcoRight champion Sen. Lisa Murkowski talked to worried Alaskans about the best way to prepare for the climate change. In a visit to the village of Quinhagak, as reported by KTOO Public Media, she addressed whether the designation of climate change as an emergency under FEMA would make sense in helping vulnerable Alaskan communities facing devastating impacts such as sea level rise, erosion and the need to relocate some villages.

"These are slow-moving disasters," Murkowski said of climate impacts. "But our reality is, in my view, that FEMA is not necessarily the best entity for addressing the potential disaster that you can see coming." Instead, the senior senator would like to see the Army Corps of Engineers involved. When pressed as to whether engagement of the Corps on preventative climate measures was likely under the current administration, she replied: "If what we're talking about is a wholesale kind of overhaul of a department that would allow for prevention, adaptation, mitigation, strategy from the agency, focused specific to climate change—in the two years of the Trump administration…I don't see that happening."

Murkowski has been outspoken about the need to stop politicizing climate change and for both sides to come together to debate solutions, unlike Rep. Don Young who called climate change "an instrument to frighten people."