Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has introduced a bill into the Senate Armed Forces Committee proposing to study the feasibility of creating a deep water sea port in the Arctic. The port, which as a deep water port would be able to receive Panamax ships, would “protect and advance strategic United States interests within the evolving and ever more important region.” Interestingly, the so-called Arctic Deep Water Sea Port Act (S. 2849) would enable the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security to conduct the report, demonstrating that the port is more an issue of national security rather than economics. The report would take two years and would study the best places to locate such a port and what strategic value such a port would have.
In a press release on her website, Murkowski stated,
“The United States needs to be able to guard its territorial claims and its economic interests in the Arctic, especially as a decrease in seasonal ice is leading to increased marine activity in the region. With the high potential for further industrial and commercial activity in the Arctic region, the United States must ensure that it is prepared to protect human life as well as the vulnerable Arctic environment.”