With the release of the 2013 Interior Appropriations bill today, Senator Lisa Murkowski -- Ranking Republican on the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee -- demonstrated that her work on the committee is raising the profile of long-overlooked and long-underfunded Alaskan priorities.
"Uncapped wells are a blight on our state, and the federal government is derelict in their duty to Alaska," said Murkowski. "If this were a private oil company, Alaska could be looking at billions in fines for the lack of responsivity -- so my colleagues on the Interior appropriations committee saw an increase in the funding levels as something far overdue."
In the 2012 Interior appropriations bill, the amount of funds for clean-up of legacy wells in the United States was $1 million. This year, the 2013 legacy well fund has been increased to $6.5 million dollars, which should mean results and improvements in Alaska. While Friday night's continuing resolution funds the government through March 2013 at present levels, the priorities established in this funding bill set the funding and policy direction for the remainder of the fiscal year.