The Anchorage Daily News reports Alaska Democrat Mark Begich and Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell this week introduced language in a defense spending bill to authorize construction of four polar icebreakers.
Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and Washington Democrat Patty Murray co-sponsored the item.
It directs the Navy to build up to four heavy icebreakers and transfer them to the Coast Guard for polar missions.
Each would cost about $860 million.
The ships can open shipping channels in ice.
Murkowski says in a prepared statement that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement last week that the military will be heavily involved in the Arctic means more icebreakers are needed.
More Northwest Headlines
Bon Jovi says he didn’t want to disappoint Vancouver fans 'I'm alive': People survey damage from continuing wildfires Monitor: Too many in jails awaiting competency services Emergency declaration sends dollars, help for fighting state’s wildfires Current Northwest wildfires map Police: “Highly unlikely” that missing Columbia River paddle boarder is alive 150,000 summer steelhead fingerlings die at Umpqua hatchery WSU trying to stop hacking attempt
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.