Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan brought their case for developing Alaska’s resources to the Oval Office Wednesday (March 8). Murkowski said they and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with President Trump for nearly an hour.
“It was a great opportunity to just kind of make the case for all things Alaska,” Murkowski said afterward. “The president was clearly interested and engaged. I had lots of maps.”
Murkowski said she showed the president how much of Alaska is controlled by the federal government, which resources are where and what kind of restrictions are in place.
“He did state at one point in time he had not realized how restricted our opportunities have become over the years,” Murkowski recounted.
They talked about Arctic drilling and the difficulty of getting a road for King Cove through federally protected wilderness, but Murkowski said the discussion was more of an overview.
“Very general. I mean, we talked about, obviously, the prospects for greater development in the off-shore and on-shore in the Arctic,” Murkowski said. “But we also talked about our fisheries. We also talked about how our geography allows us to be a national security asset.”
Murkowski said Melania Trump was also in the room and she spoke to the first lady before and after the meeting.
“I had asked her if she had ever been to Alaska and she says no, she absolutely wanted to come,” Murkowski recounted. “She said that she enjoyed listening to the conversation and she had learned a great deal, and that made her want to come to Alaska even more. So that was good.”
Murkowski said the president also expressed a desire to visit Alaska but she knew of no specific trip in the works.