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Stedman: Could Southeast Alaska be a support center for Arctic?

The Tongass National Forest, near Ketchikan
The Tongass National Forest, near Ketchikan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Ed Ronco, KCAW
May 31, 2012 6:00 pm

Imagine Southeast Alaska as a support center for Arctic energy development. State Sen. Bert Stedman is hoping Sitka and Ketchikan can one day be just that. The Sitka Republican is co-chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

Stedman spent the bulk of his time in front of the Sitka Chamber of Commerce addressing the state’s capital budget – namely, the money coming to Sitka. Millions will flow into the community from Juneau this year to fund improvements to a baseball field, a new roof for the hospital, some street paving, a diesel generator for electricity and more.

But Stedman also talked about the future, including the development of Arctic resources.

“To give you any idea on what the Arctic is going to look like 100 years from now, look at the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “It’s going to look totally different than it does today, regardless of whether the United States does anything or not because it’s ......