Finding Balance in Alaska

This week, I was on a fact-finding mission across the state of Alaska, talking with families, business owners, tribes, and local leaders on the environmental and public health challenges they face. In particular, I spoke with Alaskans about President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

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On Monday, I visited the Portage glacier near Anchorage, and saw first-hand some of the very real impacts of a changing climate.

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As President Obama made clear in June, there is great urgency to reduce carbon pollution and adapt to climate change. With this urgency comes great challenge, but also immense opportunity. As I travel across Alaska and the country, I see enormous potential for innovation, new technology, and American ingenuity that will help us reduce carbon pollution, adapt to a changing climate, and spur our economy.


Getting ready to fly over the Bristol Bay watershed


I also visited the Bristol Bay watershed. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon ecosystems, and also contains mineral resources like gold and copper.


On Tuesday, I had the privilege and honor to meet with tribes and local community members who rely on the waters throughout the watershed for their livelihood and way of life.


Above all, I was there to listen. Our world-class scientists are working hard to finalize EPA’s study on the watershed and potential impacts of mining there, and many more conversations will need to be had as we work with all stakeholders to find the best path forward.