But this time Senator Murky II has brought her hypocrisy road show a little too close to one of WC’s personal interests. To the consternation of the University of Alaska, which had worked at developing the project since 1973, Senator Murkowski voted against the appropriation to fund construction of the Sikuliaq, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new research vessel to be operated by the University of Alaska.
You see, the appropriation for the Sikuliaq was a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Senator Murkowski not only failed to vote for a modest effort to restart the economy; she also backstabbed her own constituents by voting against funding the Sikuliaq.
Yet speaking to the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States on the State of the Arctic, she boasted,
I am thrilled that after years of work, the Alaska Region Research Vessel, the Sikuliaq will give the scientific community another platform for performing science in ice covered waters.
And in her most recent newsletter, along with a very bad photo of the research vessel, she bragged,
The Sikuliaq is our newest scientific research vessel built by NOAA and operated in conjunction with the University of Alaska. The Sikuliaq will be homeported in Seward will do research all around the area. I visited with Captain Michael Hoshlyk and Dr. Michael Castellini when I was in Juneau.
You’d think it was her idea, not something she voted against. Famously, success has a hundred parents and failure is always an orphan. The Sikuliaq is success. But the birth certificate for the Sikuliaq is a matter of record and Senator Murkowski’s name isn’t on it. No matter how much she tries to act like a proud parent.
WC worked a summer as a deck technician on one of the Sikuliaq’s predecessor research vessels. WC knows How important marine research is, even more important in the Anthropogenic Era than it was in 1967. WC understands, at a rubber boots on the deck level, how important a better research platform is. In the wet lab on the R/V Acona, there was only room for one person at a time. The Sikluiaq is a huge improvement. Better labs will mean better results. The R/V Acona had to turn around in anything heavier than brash ice. The Sikliaq can plow through, well, sikuliaq, one year ice up to about a meter thick. She can get to places utterly beyond the reach of earlier UAF research vessels.
Bad enough that Senator Murkowski voted against building the Sikuliaq; it sheer political hypocrisy for her to now take any credit for it. She shouldn’t be permitted to have it both ways.