The Coast Guard is budgeting for a new heavy polar icebreaker, a U.S. senator from Alaska says.
ANCHORAGE — The Coast Guard is including $860 million in its five-year budget plan for a new heavy polar icebreaker, says U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.
In a release, he says that news of the plan came at a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Oceans, Fisheries and Coast Guard Subcommittee. Begich is subcommittee chairman.
Alaska’s congressional delegation has pushed for an icebreaker as Arctic waters become a focus for petroleum drilling, tourism and transportation.
The country has two heavy icebreakers. The 399-foot Polar Sea has been docked in Seattle since experiencing engine problems in 2010. Its sister ship, the Polar Star, is going through $57 million in upgrades.
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The medium icebreaker Healy is in service.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security had no immediate response after business hours Wednesday.