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Murkowski says government overreach is hurting economy

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Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:00 am

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said federal government overreach continues to hinder economic development in Alaska.

Murkowski made the comments at the 10th annual luncheon of the LTL Committee in Fairbanks on Friday afternoon. Her talk ranged from topics like the sequester, energy, military and regulation.

She said the federal government has overstepped on nearly everything from resource development, to roads in certain communities and small businesses.

A small business that handles the cremation of pets is facing as much as a $50,000 annual fee for the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure it’s meeting air quality standards, she said.

“There’s not enough cats and dogs in all of the community to pay for that,” she said.

But she used the instance to illustrate a greater issue with overzealous federal regulators.

“They’re being held to a one-size-fits all standard,” she said. “What are we doing to the entrepreneurial spirit? Because we’re wrapped around the axel with government regulations.”

She also spoke about the federal denial to build a 10-mile gravel non-commercial road in King Cove to link two communities.

She said the lack of a road has resulted in a number of deaths in recent years from people trying to make the risky trip.

She pledged to fight for the community.

“I’m not going to sit back to someone that says we’re going to pay more attention to waterfowl than people,” she said.

Murkowski also talked about the sequester, saying she felt some cuts have been made to make a political point while other agencies are handling the cuts better.

On the front of energy, she did have some goods news to offer.

She said she’s working well with Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, to ensure they can find common ground to make progress on. Murkowski is the ranking Republican member on the committee.

Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 and follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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