Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomePoliticsSen. Sullivan talks infrastructure, energy, and China threat on Must Read Alaska...

Sen. Sullivan talks infrastructure, energy, and China threat on Must Read Alaska Facebook livestream

Sen. Dan Sullivan stopped by the Must Read Alaska office in Spenard to talk to Alaskans about the recent passage of the massive infrastructure bill, and the good it will do for Alaska over the next few years. Some of the high points from the interview are:

Perfect? No: Sullivan said the bill wasn’t perfect, but that it is going to put a lot of people to work in Alaska over the next five years on projects that are critical to moving the state forward. It is not the big social engineering bill that is called the Build Back Better Act, which was split off from the infrastructure bill so that the road, bridge, and broadband upgrades won’t be held up by what he termed as a socialist agenda that is in the BBBA.

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Roads: The bill has $3.5 billion over five years for Alaska, a 34 percent increase over the previous highway bill. Much of the regular highway bill funding is incorporated into this legislation. Alaska will also receive part of the $110 billion over five years in supplemental funding for roads and bridges. The funds go to the state government, which decides which projects get worked on, and in what order.

Bridges: Alaska will get part of $40 billion over five years that is set aside for bridges; Alaska has 141 bridges that are structurally deficient.

Broadband: Sullivan emphasized the importance of broadband for giving parents and children choice in their education, making charter and homeschool education more available to those in rural areas. He also pointed to the $1.5 billion in flexible funding over five years, with Alaska having achieved priority for getting broadband to remote communities, before that money flows to cities like Chicago. Broadband is a key economic driver, he said, for a young state like Alaska.

Water and wastewater: The bill has $40 million to $60 million by 2026 for for safe drinking water, plus Sullivan was able to get $3.5 billion over five years for Indian Health Service sanitation facilities to help build out running water and flush toilets in rural Alaska.

Energy: The bill provides a loan guarantee up to $18 billion for the Alaska LNG project.

Streamlining Permits: The bill sets deadlines for completion of environmental reviews.

Ports and Harbors: The bill has $2.25 billion over five years for ports, including $250 million over five years for the construction of remote and subsistence harbor projects.

Sullivan, after the interview, dispelled some of the myths about the bill. It does not include Critical Race Theory, it doesn’t include gender identity politics, and it is different from the $3.5 trillion Built Back Better bill the Democrats are now trying to shove through Congress (the BBBA has passed the House).

Sullivan also talked about the increasing problem with the communist Chinese and their intent to invade and take over Taiwan. A Marine Reserve colonel, he said he is keeping a close eye on the developments and is concerned the Biden Administration will give over Taiwan to the Chinese.

Watch Sullivan talk about the bill at this link.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. …and hopefully “environmental review” process includes such proposed Ming as Trilogy Resources, Novagold & Pebble Partnership mines? Somehow the Army Corps of Engineers must be impelled to restore a statutory expeditious policy process tgat is objective, scientifically predicated environmental review processes that can favour the State —- otherwise investors will go elsewhere in the world in search of profits. Hopefully these DC promulgations lead to a restoration of sanity!

  2. I’m still supporting voting him out for the sellout vote on this “infrastructure” Marxism.
    He was spineless and semi-RINO before, but evidently nobody told him, “You never go full RINO.”

  3. Attention to broadband in rural communities is appropriate but is only part of the problem. Very significant deficiencies in broadband in non-rural communities exist. For a number of years, urban broadband consumers in Alaska paid twice as much per month for half as much bandwidth as those in the lower 48. The disparity is probably worse now. Much of urban Alaska cannot access broadband that is considered appropriate for a modern economy. In other cases, only a single monopoly provider exists or the broadband is of poor quality. (Year after year, ACS announces plans to upgrade my broadband service but fails to deliver.) Focusing only on broadband subsidies for rural locations obscures these problems. Despite the gains in broadband for rural communities, Alaska as a whole is falling further behind in broadband development.

    • Starlink goes live worldwide next year. Broadband spending in AK is pork spending and corruption at its worst. What can ACS do that Musk hasn’t already done? Cheers –

      • The first problem is that despite all the bluster, Starlink is not yet providing service in Alaska. Starlink does not have a commercial presence in Alaska. After that, the actual cost of this service is unknown. Subsidies are certainly bad, but the lack of customer density in Alaska poses significant economic barriers and poor service. We may see a time when telecommunications prices and availability in rural Alaska are superior to the offerings in urban Alaska.

        • It doesn’t have a commercial presence anywhere, using the same business model that Tesla does – purchase directly from the provider rather than a dealer. Still in beta. Goes live next year. Your last is correct, but it will be Starlink providing it. Cheers –

        • Their website states that service will be available late 2022 & pricing is on their website. $499 for hardware & $99 monthly.

  4. There are a lot of nice things here. But who is paying for all the deficit spending when you consider how far in debt the nation is already. And when interest rates go up that debt will be even more expensive to maintain. It sure feels like at some point this will all collapse. If individuals tried this kind of spending philosophy they’d go bankrupt real fast. We have to work & save for things that are needed & wishes. I know government is not an individual but individuals fund the government through taxes. It just does not feel right. Kind of like it feels when you load up a Visa to the max then get another Visa in order to load that one up too because you have to because you can’t stop.

    • You must have missed the part that the infrastructure bill will not add to the deficit and create thousands of well paying jobs

  5. This is such a sad tribute to the greatest natural resource development state in the nation. Increased federal dollars. Increased federal control. Increased federal dollars. Decrease in our control of our state. Senator Sullivan, you have lost your way.

    • Sullivan also talked about the increasing problem with the communist Chinese and their intent to invade and take over Taiwan.
      But no talk about the communist takeover of the USA. Course he’s complicit so he won’t go there. Guess he has no problem with taking a oath to defend the constitution and not following thru.
      Probably my least favorable article on MRAK, almost like a puff piece “npr style”.

      • Yup, fluff piece.
        Go’s to their office and gets softball questions – so Little No Spine Danny – can try to put a spin on his EGREGIOUS vote to give PedoJo and the Feds more control over our state for a little bag of gold.
        LISA “Kenai River Land Deal” LOVER.
        Lost my vote forever….

    • Michael, you forgot one thing. The alternative would be for Suzanne having to do an interview with Al Gross. So, get your butt in the US Congress race and work with Dan in DC. Show Dan the way!

    • What part about the 141 structurally deficient bridges on federal roads do you not understand? How do you propose to pay for these bridges?How could anyone be against money for rural village water and sewer? Who paid for the big bridges in Eagle River?
      Did you take covid stimulus money? PPE money?

      • They gave us a pittance, in the grand scheme of things. In turn, the Democrat Comrades get the win at the expense of our nation as a whole. It was a multi-year shell game, or worse, a Ponzi scheme and we taxpaying citizens are left holding the multi-generational bag, Lefty.
        So “Don’t you get brazen with us”!

      • If Sweeney is for Dan, then Sellout Sullivan is a RINO for sure.
        Sweeney, there are better ways to get federal dollars than to sell out for a terrible piece of Marxism that wouldn’t have passed. And for such a tiny piece comparatively?
        Our three Marxist supporting sellouts didn’t come home with the pork. They came home with a bacon bit.

          • Sadly, Mr. Tavoliero is correct.
            Dan Sullivan has sold out whatever Conservative principles he may have had in order to maintain Alaska as a “hand-out” state by the federal government. Alaska should be developing it’s own resources and producing it’s own wealth rather than relying on Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi to make Alaska “dependent” on government welfare, which does nothing but drive the country closer to inevitable economic failure. And this is a huge reason why I will support Michael Tavoliero for US House if he chooses to run against one of the biggest government scammers, Don Young. Tavoliero would get rid of the old codger and Allie Alaska to start supporting itself once again.

          • The Alaska Delegation has an old, crooked codger, an out-of-stater who can’t stand cold weather, and a Princess who prefers the enemy. In short:
            Alaska is SCREWED.

    • Not sure how money turned over to the State DOT&PF to fix our infrastucture results in more Federal control, other than it has to go for infrastructure. The $0.90 given for every $0.10 in State money can’t be used for Eagleexit, apparently Mike T is upset that Eagleexit does not get the $0.10

  6. This is straight up socialism! Eventually you run out of other people’s money dan. No votes for bums, especially big government bums 😤

  7. Maybe in the beginning when Alaska was still a ‘baby’s after the statehood act, it needed Federal Dollars while it was establishing itself. It seems that Alaska is long past its childhood years when it needed a guardian, and federal government should release its control over the federal lands unto Alaska’s ownership and control. I say there is a reason for everything why Alaska remains closed. Less National State Parks is nice tourist attraction used to intice visitors into the state. Really!?
    What good do National Parks do when Alaskans are struggling? The relationship between the Federal Government and Alaska is like a very overprotective wealthy parent who still treats their 25 year old like a child needing continual monitoring while suppressing that 25 year old’s growth agianst that 25 year olds wishes who wants more responsibility and be taken seriously. REI used to have a map showing all the National Parks across Alaska most shared borders. I was like THAT is alot of federelly managed National Parks for one state! The feeling that resonated within was being Locked in.

  8. As I do with all such puff pieces about politicians: TLDR.
    Did you ask him about the wisdom of simply printing $1.5 trillion more to pump into the current inflation cycle?

  9. Senator, you and your fellow Senator sold out our nation for what amounts (in the grand scheme of things) to a few bucks “over five years”! How do you justify that, Sir?
    Don’t treat us as if we are all stupid. That used to be a Democrat trait! What would create jobs here and elsewhere is ending the Dem entitlements that keep people sitting on their butts! And the Keystone pipeline and other Alaska oil drilling projects. Are they in there? Why did you folks let the Democrats drive this bus? Why not get over y’all’s dislike of Trump and fight to decertify the 2020 Election, so that NONE OF THIS Democrat/CCP would even be happening?
    I could go on, but I know that you get the picture, as do many many Alaskans and Americans! As an Alaskan, I still support you, but only as the lesser of possible evils, now.
    Do what’s right for the USA and Alaska. Also, come out loudly against the CRT and other social justice warrior Bullcrap, not just claim credit that you all whittled it off of a Democrat bill. You got that because they were willing to throw you a bone that the Dem Leadership Comrades didn’t even want. These are things that Sen. Murky Rino is about. Don’t be Murky. Not a good look. She’s on the way out. Please don’t join her.
    Signed, Disgusted and Disappointed.

    • Before any Democrats see fit to correct my awkward wording, I know that the Keystone pipeline isn’t Alaskan. Was commenting on the big picture…
      Cheers, lefties.

    • Vote for Liberty and Freedom, this along with permanent dividend ought to clearly demonstrates both parties serve special interests and NOT Freedom and Liberty. Don’t throw your vote away on the lesser of two evils, vote 3rd party.

      SD, am I being censored?

  10. Couldn’t find a proper place to post this comment on the ADN so I’ll try here. Read the article in reference to a planned “corridor” of electrical car stations in the ADN to charge up between Anchorage and Fairbanks. One question….what form of energy will produce the power that the charge stations use. Two sources of energy to run one vehicle…doesn’t sound economic nor environmental…

    • M,
      Here is a factoid that you’ll never see in the ADN:
      The Binkley Family took PPP money for their ADN operation in Anchorage and PPP money for their multiple tour operations in Fairbanks ……. all while their tour operations were on hold during the pandemic. Would it not surprise you that the Family built three mansions for their kids up in Fairbanks during the past two years?

      • How much did John Binkley pay for the old Alaska Railroad Depot in Fairbanks, the property and building that he now owns and operates his family business out of?

    • Science is not a conservative strong suit. A BEV gets about an equivalent 120 MPG to an ICE averge of less than 30 mpg.

      • Yep. liberals rule the science roost. It’s global warming and it’s man made. A boy is a girl and a girl is a boy. The unborn baby live and growing with its own dna is my body and my choice. The clot shot is safe and effective and Ivermectin is dangerous horse paste. Etc.

  11. Will there be any new roads built????
    Or just grind/repave the same old roads@ a three year interval instead of four.
    Hi speed internet to remote villages to get censored spoon-feed “news” ( fake “news “ also a recipient of the spending bill) and shop online for China made items delivered through subsidize method. To areas all keep down without a chance of ever able to make an honest living with dignity.
    Thanks Leading from behind Dan.

  12. Still not buying it Dan. It is what you are not telling us that I have questions on. All the energy production projects that Trump started are still off the table right? Biden has declared war on Oil production and many Alaskans lost their jobs on the North Slope. This bill will exacerbate inflation and our unsustainable deficit. For every one of these bills you pass, you enslave future Americans to massive debt and ever increasing taxes. I heard there is a provision in this bill for China to get a contract to build electric cars for the USA. If you are truly serious about confronting China you will detach the umbilical cord from them and hold them accountable for COVID-19, Human rights abuses, stealing intellectual property, spying and collecting data on Americans, bribing college professors and politicians alike, interfering in our elections. You can save face by standing up against the 4 Trillion BBB Bill on its way to the Senate and refusing to raise the debt ceiling! Get in the game Dan, our nation is in trouble as our institutions and government have been infiltrated by China. Communists care not about Americas future, they just want to dominate our lives!

  13. What about – the im­mi­gra­tion pro­vi­sion that would give 6.5 mil­lion or so il­le­gal mi­grants who have been in the coun­try since 2011 a 10-year right to work in the U.S. Then there’s the $8 bil­lion meth­ane “fee” in ef­fect a tax on nat­ural gas pro­duc­tion and thus on con­sumer en­ergy prices. The Amer­i­can Gas As­so­ci­a­tion es­ti­mates this could raise the av­er­age fam­i­ly’s nat­ural gas bill by 17%, so this is a vi­o­la­tion of Pres­i­dent Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on any­one earn­ing less than $400,000 a year. The $2.5 bil­lion hand­out to trial lawyers to deduct their ex­penses for con­tin­gency-fee law­suits. Don’t for­get the $1.7 bil­lion sub­sidy for lo­cal jour­nal­ists, most of whom are left of cen­ter. There is even more waste in this bill.

    No thank you Dan. You have already done enough damage.

  14. Don’t we have to compete for funding for a lot of these projects? And the elephant in the room is that the “Build Back Better” monstrosity would have died if this bill didn’t pass. The votes for this bill, well intended or not, made possible the passage of the other bill and that is just a fact.

  15. The bill ( and the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs) were mainly the result of the Democratic Party. While Alaska’s senators and congressman deserve credit for crossing party lines, remember that most elected Republicans, including Donald Trump, were against this bill. Alaskans can thanks the democrats for this one!

    • You mean ‘blame’, but I get it.
      Sorry, so many of us are not gullible enough to salivate over ‘shovel ready jobs’. We’ve heard that drek from Demoncrats before.
      If we want jobs up here it would best come from an actual infrastructure bill without all of the Marxism and with more freedom to develop oil.
      It is the Marxist Demoncrats that are killing the oil industry.

  16. Hello Suzanne
    You have family in Skagway? I did not know. I lived there for 5 years. Moved out in 2020. It is probably one of the most liberal communities in the state. Glad I left…..
    As for Senator Sullivan’s interview, thanks for providing that. I was hoping you would ask him to clarify why he voted for Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary. A very disappointing vote. Also I wished you could have asked whether or not he supports the so called “Equality Act”. A very destructive, freedom killing bill that has little to do with equality. Anyway, Dan is obviously better than any Democrat but he has slowly drifted left over the years. He is also supportive of Lisa’s re-election, which further brings doubt to his conservative credentials. All that said, I do believe he is the most conservative Senator Alaska has had, probably since statehood. But c’mon Alaska, we can do better!!!
    I am not sure Alaska actually needs all these federal dollars, pouring on more money doesn’t always fix problems and sometimes it makes things worse. There is already substantial federal monies allocated to Broadband in rural Alaska under what is called the “Alaska Plan”. Telecom providers have already been using that money (over the past 3 years) to lay fiber optics and install new services in various communities across the state.
    Most of all this infrastructure bill gave Biden and the Democrats a win. That is not good. Democrats never give Republicans wins……ever. They play a vicious, cruel game, and we often go soft, roll over, cave and give in. It is sad to see. Anyway, for those reasons I wish our delegation had voted NO on this bill. (Which I completely understand is not the BBB Socialist bill that is 10 times worse.)

  17. Well, damn! Great Green Deal?
    So do we get some fluff? of the new energy cars?
    Hey! Tesla is going underground in Nevada….and Texas?
    ( You think he will get some money from that wonderful, Bill)

    Alaska? ask yourself? whats the new green deal gunna do for you?
    Wait them wind farms? then, you all bitch about killing birds, from blades

    Can’t win for losing!!!

  18. Anybody that votes to pass an infrastructure bill that includes the hiring of 87000 IRS agents can not be considered a conservative.

  19. Why couldn’t he of voted “no” and then propose a new and better bill. By the way, Senator Sullivan told us there are a lot of conservatives in Alaska that doesn’t like infrastructure. Well, he is wrong, we do like roads built, but we don’t like all the hidden agendas that come with it. I think that was his excuse to worm his way out of the mistake he made. It’s funny when a politician has to now go on radio to try to get the public behind him for a big mistake. People don’t forget that you support the Biden administration.

  20. Thank you Dan, for explaining that the infrastructure bill was separated from the other demonic bill. For all the taxes Alaskans pays DC for all the oil and other things we supply to them, at least we’re getting something in return…AND we’re not getting the garbage on the BBBA. I know TED Stevens would appreciate that. He fought for it too. Yes, the remote villages will probably get abit more then then larger cities will, but they seemed to get less in the past from some OUR OWN people in Juneau. My Question about that is; WHY has our people in the remote villages have taken so long to get every day basic commodities? I am NOT a socialist, or a liberal.. To get people moved out sinking villages is also needed. I am also NOT a LISA M fan. But I am glad for Don and You to help get basic infrastructure to rebuild what our earthquakes and the weather work together to destroy.

    • Could’ve been done without all of the horrible socialism and tyranny. This bill will immediately and in the long run damage America and Alaska.

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