Alaskans of all stripes are incensed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s disparaging comments Tuesday about the necessity of volcano monitoring, the Anchorage Daily News reports. It’s “a matter of life and death in Alaska,” Sen. Mark Begich wrote the Republican. Even Gov. Sarah Palin’s office weighed in. “Of course Alaskans want to know if a volcano is going to blow,” a rep said.
Not only is Alaska the locus for much of the volcano activity in the US, but an eruption threatening Anchorage could disrupt international trade. “Any interruptions,” Begich wrote, could be felt even in “Baton Rouge.” Experts also wondered why Jindal singled out monitoring, which will get $14 million in federal dollars, not the $140 million he quoted. “It saves lives to be able to warn people,” one said.