In this Empire file photo, the MV Tazlina heads in to dock in Juneau. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation is poised to bring a lot of money to Alaska for things like ferries, but when and how much isn’t yet known as many of the programs are new. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

In this Empire file photo, the MV Tazlina heads in to dock in Juneau. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation is poised to bring a lot of money to Alaska for things like ferries, but when and how much isn’t yet known as many of the programs are new. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Young Alaskans thank our congressional delegation for delivering on infrastructure

On behalf of the next generation of Alaskans, we thank our congressional delegation for setting politics aside and delivering a critical win that will help safeguard Alaska’s future. The “win” we’re referring to is the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Delivering billions in federal aid over the next few years, it’s hard to overstate the impact this legislation will have on Alaska and our collective future.

It’s not lost on us that our entire congressional delegation — all Republicans working collaboratively across the aisle — played a critical role in this legislation’s success. In fact, our senior senator, Lisa Murkowski, was one of the main architects of this legislation and, like always, she ensured Alaska’s unique needs were carefully considered.

Alaskans understand that our infrastructure faces some of the toughest challenges on the planet. From earthquake preparedness, to rising sea levels and coastal erosion, to immense rainfall and relentless winds, Alaska continuously tests even the world’s greatest engineering feats. The outlook is especially grim as we consider the impacts of climate change on infrastructure across the state. Thankfully, this new law delivers historic investments in “hard infrastructure,” like, ports, airports and bridges, and also invests in our generation’s priorities, like wildfire preparedness, responsible resource development, clean energy infrastructure and climate resiliency, rural broadband and more.

Alaskans of both political parties and all generations are frustrated by the seemingly constant gridlock out of Washington, D.C. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act demonstrates that results are possible, especially when leaders — like Senators Murkowski and Sullivan and Congressman Young — team up to ensure Alaska’s needs are met. After all, young people in our state deserve adequate investment to ensure a prosperous future. We look forward to the opportunities this law provides for us and generations of Alaskans to come.

Jackson Blackwell, a recent college graduate from Soldotna, serves as Regional Director of Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends. Emma Ashlock, of Anchorage, is a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks studying Arctic policy. Alex Jorgensen grew up in Anchorage, graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and now works to advance the Alaska labor movement.

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