Another Experienced 'Old Hand' Champions the Bering Strait Project
May 20, 2007 (LPAC)--Under the headline, "Congress renews assault on Alaska's development / Meanwhile, Russia is embracing visionary rail-tunnel project," the paper of Alaska's capital, the Juneau Empire, featured an impassioned piece May 20 by Lew Williams, Jr., the retired publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, who bluntly speaks of the resentment Alaskans feel toward those who have blocked the development of the state, and who have expressed little interest in the Bering Strait project, among others.
"Clinton Democrats also shut down Southeast Alaska's timber industry. Their environmental colleagues, now better financed, are blocking mining as well as logging. It makes Alaskans wonder what to expect under a Democrat administration headed by the likes of Hillary Clinton...."
"The Democrats sold out to the national environmentalists. President Jimmy Carter used the Antiquities Act to set aside large sections of Alaska in reserve. Now a Democrat-led Congress has renewed its assault on Alaska's economy. Fortunately we still have some big men (and women) in Alaska who are pushing some big projects....
"[walter] Hickel is the example of an Alaskan who thinks big. He's also advocating a railroad tunnel across the Bering Strait. Some scoff at this plan as others scoffed at space travel before the Russians beat us into space.
"And the Russians are coming again. At an a conference on April 24 in Moscow, the Russians announced they are pushing for a railroad to the Bering Sea coast at Uelen. Two weeks before the conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his minister of railways and declared the rail line to Uelen a priority. (And the Alaska Railroad is dragging its feet on even hooking up with the Canadian system and the Lower 48!)
"Before the April 24 Moscow meeting, the Russians asked the Interhemispheric Bering Strait Tunnel & Rail Group to seek a high-level American to co-chair the Moscow conference. The reaction of many American and Alaska leaders was negative. Then Hickel was asked.
"He came through as he always does for Alaska and for the future. Alaskans are raising too few like him. It's sad that our current leaders are uninterested in at least monitoring the Russian project, considering its direction." For the full article, go to: