Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Department of Energy Approves Alaska LNG Project Export License

2014/11/21

Washington, D.C – Less than two months after calling upon the Department of Energy to expeditiously approve an export license for the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Alaska, Congressman Don Young has received positive news; the federal agency has granted long term authorization for the proposed Alaska LNG Project to export LNG to free-trade agreement (FTA) nations.

“Restricting the ability to export LNG would effectively kill the dream of constructing a natural gas pipeline, something we Alaskans have worked on for years,” said Congressman Don Young. “Today’s announcement by the DOE is a positive step in the right direction and moves us closer to bringing our state’s tremendous resources to market. Not only would this project add much needed revenue to the state and provide well paying jobs, it could also provide the Alaskan people access to more affordable energy. As this process moves forward, I remain committed to ensuring red-tape and federal roadblocks don’t stand in the way.”

 

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Congressman Young Responds to President Obama’s “Let’s Make a Deal” Executive Action on Immigration

2014/11/20

Washington, D.C. – Following President Obama’s declaration to grant executive amnesty to more than 5 million undocumented immigrants, Alaskan Congressman Don Young shared his deep concerns for the size and scope of his actions.

“Through Executive Order, President Obama has moved forward on actions he previously said were not within his Constitutional authority – a unilateral declaration to ignore U.S. law and stop the deportation of more than 5 million unlawful immigrants. Bypassing Congress and changing the law himself, simply because the Legislative Branch has not given the answers he’s looking for, is plain wrong. Ignoring the clear majority of Americans who oppose amnesty will only hurt this nation and the principles it was founded upon.

“Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the power over naturalization of immigrants, not the President. While past Presidents have used Executive Action or ‘prosecutorial discretion’ to address immigration, it has only been to enforce or clarify laws already passed by Congress. In stark contrast, President Obama’s lawless executive decree significantly undermines the American people’s trust in the branch of government responsible for enforcing our laws and puts our constitution in great jeopardy."  

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Young Legislation to Streamline Development on Point Spencer Unanimously Passes Committee

2014/11/19

Washington, D.C. – The House Natural Resources Committee today unanimously passed legislation introduced by Alaskan Congressman Don Young to streamline and facilitate development on Point Spencer, Alaska. The legislation, H.R. 4668, would convey certain federal lands to the Bering Straits Native Corporation and the State of Alaska, while also retaining certain land for the U.S. Coast Guard to support their statutory mission and duties.

Under Congressman Young’s bill, H.R. 4668, the Coast Guard would retain its footprint at Point Spencer, approximately 140 acres, in order to support possible future uses of the strategic location. That area includes a major footprint on the water, in addition to land on which the Coast Guard boarded up operations in 2010. The bill also provides the Coast Guard with the rights to use the current and any future airstrips for federal purposes at no cost, and permits the leasing of additional lands from the BSNC should the Coast Guard need them.

The State of Alaska would receive approximately 180 acres of federal lands, including the existing airstrip, a shoreline footprint on the water, and a right-of-way for future development of a road from the airstrip to the mainland across Coast Guard and/or BSNC land. Additionally, the tidelands and submerged lands around Point Spencer would be recognized as having continued ownership by the State of Alaska.

Lastly, the bill provides BSNC with the remainder of lands, approximately 2,381 acres, satisfying a portion of BSNC’s land entitlement under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), and thereby allowing for future uses of Point Spencer. The bill also provides language to help ensure protections for archaeological and ancestral items of antiquity through the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Congressman Young made the following statement after introducing the legislation on May 15, 2014:

“I am proud to be joined by my friend Congressman Duncan Hunter, the Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, in introducing legislation to provide the means necessary for future use and development of Point Spencer by federal, state, and private sector stakeholders.  We are desperately in need of development in the region, particularly as activity in the Arctic continues to increase, and this bill establishes a path forward for a variety of necessary tasks and missions, including search and rescue operations, shipping safety, economic development, oil spill prevention and response, port development and refuge, arctic research, and maritime law enforcement.”

 “I believe this legislation is the best path forward to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are fully met when productively developing Point Spencer for uses in the Arctic. Not only is this approach equitable, it sensibly addresses public and private sectors interests for the betterment of our nation, the state of Alaska, the indigenous people of the Bering Strait region, as well as the private sector. The federal government has failed to optimize this critically important piece of land for far too long, and I believe the plan we have set in place works to achieve that goal.”

 

On September 10, 2014, Congressman Young chaired the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee hearing to discuss H.R. 4668. Click here to watch.

 

For full bill text of H.R. 4668 please click here.

For a brief background on Point Spencer please click here.



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Duck Stamp Legislation Passes House with Exemption for Alaskan Subsistence Hunters

2014/11/17

Washington, D.C. – Legislation to address the price of federal duck stamps – a permit required to hunt migratory waterfowl – passed the House of Representatives today with an amendment included by Alaskan Congressman Don Young to exempt Alaskan subsistence hunters from being required to purchase the annual permit. H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, which passed the House by voice vote, would increase the price of a federal duck stamp from $15 to $25.

  Congressman Young discussing the passage of H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act (click here to listen)

“For many years, subsistence users in Alaska were not required to purchase a stamp, but this changed due to a recent solicitor’s opinion,” said Congressman Young. “Subsistence hunters are not sport hunters. Instead, they are hunting waterfowl to feed their families. While I support raising the price of the duck stamp for sportsmen, myself included, we should not be adding a burden to individuals who rely on subsistence hunting as a means to feed their families. Alaska Natives, and frankly all Alaskans, have done their part to preserve waterfowl habitat and other lands. Tens of millions of acres in Alaska are already tied up in some sort of conservation designation. As a result, none of the funds generated by the duck stamp are spent in Alaska.”

Congressman Young’s amendment, which applies to Alaskan subsistence hunters residing in rural areas, would effectively reverse a 2001 policy decision by the Department of Interior Regional Solicitor that requires all subsistence duck hunters to purchase federal duck stamps.

In addition to providing relief for hunters who rely on the resource as a critical food supply, Congressman Young believes his amendment will remove a significant burden for those residing in small Alaskan villages, who often encounter difficulties in obtaining a federal duck stamp due to the limited access to post offices and the Internet.

The provision Congressman Young spearheaded has received support from numerous rural and Alaska Native organizations, including the Association of Village Council Presidents and the North Slope Borough.

 

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Congressman Young Passes Legislation to Allow Sale of Federal Lands to Olgoonik Corporation

2014/11/13

Washington, D.C. – Under the leadership of Alaskan Congressman Don Young, today the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to allow the Olgoonik Corporation – a Village Corporation created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act – to purchase 1,500 acres of federal land on Alaska’s North Slope.

Introduced by Congressman Young in late July, H.R. 5167 would allow the Secretary of the Interior to sell, at fair market value, a former Air Force Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line station within the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, near Wainwright, Alaska to the Olgoonik Corporation.

“With support from local and federal stakeholders, today the House took a significant step to support future economic development on Alaska’s North Slope and reduce the federal governments growing footprint of surplus properties,” said Congressman Don Young. “This 1,518 acre site of unused federal property is surrounded by Olgoonik-owned land and allowing them to acquire this property makes for a seamless transition. I would like to thank all those that came together to collaborate on this effort, including the Olgoonik Corporation, City of Wainwright, the Department of Interior, and Senator Murkowski, who introduced companion legislation in the Senate.”

Congressman Young passes legislation to allow the sale of 1,518 acres of federal land to the Olgoonik Corporation (click here to watch).

While the sale of the 1,518 acre site wasn’t opposed by the Department of Interior, language within the National Petroleum Reserve Act of 1976 prevented the agency from disposing of the property without Congressional approval.

Under H.R. 5167, the Olgoonik Corporation is required to reimburse any costs associated with the sale of the property; all proceeds would be deposited into the U.S. Treasury.

  

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Congressman Young Shares Veterans Day Message

2014/11/11

Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared the following message in observance of Veterans Day:

Today, as Americans across the country gather to honor our men and women in uniform, I am reminded of a powerful inscription written into the granite of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

These words, spoken by President Harry Truman just days before the surrender of Nazi Germany, truly embody the sentiment of Veterans Day – a day to honor those who have sworn to defend this nation and reflect upon the service and sacrifice of all our veterans, past and present.

While our nation’s debt to our veterans can never fully be repaid, Veterans Day is a solemn moment to recognize our continued appreciation to those who have served in defense of freedom, liberty and justice.

Since arriving to Congress, my loyalty to America’s military veterans, including the more than 77,000 who call Alaska home, has never wavered. As a nation, we must never forget the gift of freedom these remarkable men and women in uniform have given. As a nation, we must also never forget the promises and commitments we have made to our veterans.

On the 11th day of the 11th month, in ceremonies and celebrations across the country, I encourage all Americans to join me in thanking our veterans.

 

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Uncertainty Remains for GMT-1 Project Following DOI Assessment

2014/10/29

Anchorage, AKAlaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his thoughts on the Department of Interior’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) of the ConocoPhillips Greater Moose’s Tooth Unit One (GMT-1) project within the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NRP-A).

“After years of trying to move the ball forward on responsible resource development within the NPR-A, I am pleased to see a plan that includes an access road,” said Congressman Don Young. “However, I share some of the same concerns expressed today by industry representatives that this assessment leaves us with too many unanswered questions regarding the future of this project and dismisses a preferred road alternative.”

“Unfortunately, DOI’s assessment leaves GMT-1 up against pending reviews by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, which have previously held up a number of Alaskan projects, including production within CD-5," Young said. " It remains to be seen what mitigation and other requirements will pile onto this process, but for now I am happy to see it move forward.”

 

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ICYMI: Congressman Young Welcomes Home Last Frontier Honor Flight

2014/10/29

Anchorage, AK – On Saturday, October 25, Alaskan Congressman Don Young joined a group of thankful Alaskans at the Ted Stevens International Airport to welcome home more than 20 World War II and Korean Conflict veterans from Washington, D.C. as part of the Last Frontier Honor Flight.

Click here to watch the Last Frontier Honor Flight Welcome Home Celebration at the Ted Stevens International Anchorage Airport on October 25, 2014.

Congressman Young personally greeted each veteran and volunteer as they deplaned and joined a procession through the terminal to where more than a hundred guests – including friends and family, active duty and retired military, and the Dimond High School JROTC – waited to celebrate their arrival.

Congressman Young gave the following comments at the Last Frontier Honor Flight “Welcome Home” celebration:

“Welcome home. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to meet you [ in Washington, D.C.], but it’s great to greet you here as you return home. Remember when you returned home from combat they welcomed you too; we welcome you with our hearts. Thank you for your service. God bless you for what you’ve done. I hope everyone who has freedom today remembers the Great War and how you defended this country, man, women and child, and especially yourselves. Thank you!”

Veterans and volunteers of the Last Frontier Honor Flight departed the Ted Stevens International Airport on October 21, 2014 and enjoyed time touring war memorials in Washington, D.C. before making the more than 4,000 mile journey home on October 25, 2014.

 

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Congressman Young Expresses Sincere Apology for Pain Caused by Statements on Suicide

2014/10/24

Anchorage, AK – In a speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared his sincere and honest apology for the pain caused by his recent statements on the issue of suicide. In a remorseful speech to AFN Convention delegates, Congressman Young focused on his own personal experiences of dealing with a trouble family member, in addition to the steps Congress can take to support mental health programs, combat domestic violence, and prevent suicide. Congress Young shared the following comments:

“I have served the public and state of Alaska for 45 years – all of the Alaskan people. There is however, a private side of me that few see.  You may not know it but much of that private side is what drives my public side. It motivates me to tackle some pretty tough issues and I don’t often share that motivation because it is private. But today, I’m going to address a little bit of that private side.

“Recently, I addressed one of those issues with high school students in Wasilla – the issue of suicide.  Because I have been touched by this issue, it’s very personal to me. It may have caused me to mangle some of my statements and comments that caused this uproar. But I will tell you, I have asked myself many times, did I do enough? Did I take the nephew away from an abusive father? Did I love him enough? Did I do enough? Apparently, I did not. I made up my mind that I was trying to prevent the future of suicides from occurring.

“I know that suicide rates in rural Alaska are the highest in the country and of grave concern to all of you in this room. We have to come to grips with that if we want to prevent suicide. We cannot bring back our loved ones; we cannot, as myself, dwell on what has happened, although it is very painful not to. We in fact need to address the issue, why has it happened? Why does it happen?

“Because of my comments, I am profoundly and genuinely sorry for the pain it has caused the Alaskan people. I am genuinely sorry for the pain I have caused the individual, as I have experienced it, and hope that you won’t have to experience that.

“My record paints a very different picture. I give suicide and mental health issues high priority. I cosponsored and voted to fund the Mental Health First Aid act, which was enacted into law.  It gives $10 million in grants to state and local entities to train teachers, schools, police officers, and others how to identify the warning signs of someone suffering from a variety of mental illnesses such as depression or substance abuse or contemplating suicide.  With that knowledge, trainees would be trained on how to safely and effectively direct the individual to help.

“We may be able to give some of that funding to the John Baker Youth Leaders Program in Kotzebue. Kotzebue has not had a youth suicide in 5 years because of the strong support group they have built. That is what we must do around this state.

“I fought for and voted in favor of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which is part of a nationwide state and tribal youth suicide intervention program network. I will continue to support the Victims of Crime Act and Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Programs, both of which fund programs to combat domestic abuse and provide adequate safe support for the victims.

“To combat domestic violence and suicide, it takes two steps. (1) Make effective mental health treatment services available, and (2) get the individual suffering from those diseases to seek treatment.  As your Congressman, I will fight for bills that create and maintain these mental health treatment services. It is up to all of us, friends and families, to somehow convince those suffering to seek the help they need.

“Again, I am profoundly sorry to those I offended.”

 

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Don Young Honored with Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award

2014/10/08

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young was honored today for his work on critical seniors’ issues by the 60 Plus Association, a 22-year-old non-profit, nonpartisan group, that emphasizes less government and lower taxes when addressing seniors’ issues. Young was recognized, in part, for his support to protect Social Security and Medicare for current and future seniors, fighting to repeal overbearing regulations within Obamacare and ending the ‘death tax.’  

“I am honored for the recognition offered today by the 60 Plus Association and for their support to protect senior citizens from crushing regulations and policies that attack years of hard earned retirement and savings, said Congressman Don Young. “As I’ve said before, the Federal government should not be the first in line when an individual passes away and leaves their life savings to their family. I have consistently worked to reduce the inflated tax burden facing our nation’s elderly and will continue to defend our seniors in Congress.”

Today’s announcement came from entertainer and music legend Pat Boone, who serves as spokesman for the non-partisan senior citizen advocacy group.

“I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Don Young. Seniors can depend on Don Young,” Boone said in a statement today.

Congressman Young has been recognized with the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award on a number of occasions, along with a bipartisan group of Congressman who continue to actively support the nation’s elderly.

 “As a trusted public servant, Don Young will continue to protect the pocket books of senior citizens and end the wasteful spending of our tax dollars, which has our government now borrowing over 40 cents of every dollar to pay its bills. Chairman and founder of 60 Plus Jim Martin said following the announcement. “Seniors have to live within their means and so should our government.”

 “Don Young is more than just a committed public servant with a distinguished track record of fighting on behalf of seniors in Washington; Don Young is a trusted voice for smaller, more effective and less expensive government,” Martin added. “Don Young is a tireless worker who makes decisions every day based on what's best for our children and grandchildren. Seniors have no better friend in the U.S. House of Representatives than Congressman Don Young.”    

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Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
Fax 202-225-0425
donyoung.house.gov

Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 113th Congress in 2012 to serve his 21st term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election on March 6, 1973, Congressman Young is today the 1st ranking Republican member and the the 4th ranking overall member of the House of Representatives.

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs.  Rep. Young currently serves as a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. Born on June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California, he earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning these degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957.

When he first moved to Alaska, Congressman Young made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and in the search for gold. In Fort Yukon he taught in a 25-student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Constructed of logs, the school had a wood stove that kept his Alaska Native students warm in the sub-freezing, arctic winter. With the annual spring break-up of the river ice, he captained his own tug and barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. Even today, he remains the only licensed mariner in Congress.

It was in Fort Yukon that Rep. Young met and married a young bookkeeper named Lu. Lu was always at the Congressman’s side and supported him throughout his public service career. Lu and Don were married for 46 years, they were blessed with and raised two daughters, Joni and Dawn, and 14 grandchildren. Mrs. Young passed away on August 2, 2009.

Congressman Young first entered public service in 1964 when he was elected Mayor of Fort Yukon. Two years later, Alaskan voters elected him to the State Legislature in Juneau where he served in the State House from 1966 to 1970, and later in the State Senate from 1970 to 1973. Just hours after being sworn in to United States House of Representatives in 1973, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.”

That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” He went on to gain a key appointment on the then Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he pushed through the 200-mile fishing limit critical to Alaska’s fishing industry. He fought against federal control of lands and resources to which Alaskans are rightfully entitled – a battle he continues today with the same vigor. In 1997, he passed by a 419-1 vote, the National Wildlife Improvement Act, which sets guidelines for the nation’s 500-plus wildlife refuges.

Congressman Young proudly serves as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loves his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. Renewed by the challenges and goals of the 111th Congress and his committee positions, Congressman Young will continue to champion legislation and funding for programs benefiting Alaska and the nation. His vision remains the same – to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future.


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