Articles & Op-eds

05.30.19

Stock News Press: U.S. will rue forcing China's hand on rare earths

by Scott Gibson

America's rare earth mineral dependence is a long-standing issue. US companies are years away from challenging Chinese dominance of rare earth minerals due to a lack of domestic processing facilities, ensuring the Asian nation will maintain its near-monopoly on refining and powerful leverage in trade talks. According to the US Geological Survey, from 2014 to 2017 the United States imported 80 percent of its rare earth compounds and metals from China. China on Wednesday issued a blunt warning … Continue Reading


05.30.19

National Interest: China's Latest Trade Threat Could Actually Turn Out To Be A Huge Opportunity For the US

by Michael Bastasch

Reports of Chinese threats to escalate its trade dispute with the Trump administration to include rare earth minerals has, once again, shined a spotlight on U.S. dependency for elements used in hundreds of hi-tech products and military equipment. "China is letting the U.S. know that it has leverage," said Dan McGroarty, head of the American Resources Policy Network (ARPN), which advocates for mineral exploration. McGroarty said reported Chinese threats to play the "rare earths card" could galv… Continue Reading


05.23.19

mHealth Intelligence: Congress Eyes Funding, Support for Project ECHO Telehealth Programs

by Eric Wicklund

A new bill before the Senate aims to beef up the Project ECHO telemedicine model by proving more federal funding and technical assistance, potentially creating dozens of new connected care programs across the country. The Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act of 2019 (ECHO 2019 Act), introduced this week by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), aims to build on both the 2016 bill of the same name and the telehealth program developed in 2003 at the Universit… Continue Reading


05.23.19

Washington Examiner: OPINION Sen. John Thune: The Senate is working for America

by Senator John Thune

During his 1980 debate with then-President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan famously asked Americans whether they were better off than they'd been four years earlier. That question has been a measuring stick for elected officials ever since. Republicans in Congress are committed to making life better for Americans. We've made great strides over the past two years, and there's more on the horizon. After a historically slow economic recovery from the Great Recession, too many Americans were struggling… Continue Reading


05.22.19

Edgy: New Lithium Production Breakthrough Revolutionizes EV Industry

by Zayan Guedim

Without battery technology, there would be no electric cars, and the best batteries that currently can meet the industrial quantity and quality standards are lithiu-ion batteries. Lithium is where things get a bit, well, electric, for electric vehicles. Known for decades for its virtues in the treatment of manic-depressive disorders, lithium is the same metal that powers electric cars. In the global arms race over lithium or "white petroleum", China is dominating for now - and not only because… Continue Reading


05.22.19

CNBC: OPINION: US must ‘reassert global leadership’ in nuclear energy or lose out to Russia and China

by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)

As partisan gridlock on a few high-profile issues dominates headlines, it is easy to lose sight of goals members of both parties share. For us, one bipartisan goal is protecting America's longstanding leadership on nuclear energy. Our bipartisan work comes as American nuclear energy leadership faces stiff headwinds. Nuclear plants are shuttering nationwide due to competition from cheap natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported twelve U.S. reactors with a combined c… Continue Reading


05.22.19

Utlity Drive: Murkowski questions need for renewables tax credits

by Robert Walton

Dive Brief: Phasing out the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for wind and solar generation could lead to "regional disparities" in adopting renewables and leave best available technologies behind, industry experts told the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday. Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, questioned whether the credits are still necessary as many renewable technologies are "standing on their own now." The solar credit begins… Continue Reading


05.22.19

Juneau Empire: OPINION: Sen. Murkowski leads bipartisan bill in support of rural, LGBTQ elders

by Julie Schmidt

This month, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, took a bold and admirable step on behalf of older Alaskans and elders around the nation by becoming an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Inclusive Aging Act. I am grateful for her leadership in introducing legislation that would help reduce isolation and improve much-needed access to sexual health care for older Americans. This is even more significant for people like me. I'm a 76-year-old lesbian, and the bill Murkowski introduced, along with … Continue Reading


05.22.19

Anchorage Daily News: OPINION: Funding child care strengthens Alaska

by Abbe Hensley

Across Alaska, parents, educators and early childhood education advocates are working hard to ensure our children receive high-quality care and education that supports their healthy development. And while all of us are doing our best to ensure Alaska's children have the programs and support they need to have the strongest start possible in life, a lack of resources constrains our ability to serve more families and enhance the quality of care our state's children receive. Thankfully, Congress pro… Continue Reading


05.22.19

Op-Ed: Anchorage Daily News: Spruce beetle outbreak will require all hands, all lands solutions

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Southcentral Alaska is experiencing a spruce bark beetle outbreak, the likes of which we have not seen since the late 1990s. Over the past two summers, the U.S. Forest Service documented 910,000 acres of spruce beetle infestation in the Susitna River Valley and on the Kenai Peninsula. The number of acres affected will most certainly increase after the next round of monitoring flyovers scheduled for this summer. The spruce beetle is a winged, quarter-inch size insect that is native to Alaska an… Continue Reading


05.21.19

Maritime Executives: New Study Reveals Maritime Sector's Impact in Pacific Northwest

by Marex

Just in time for National Maritime Day, the Transportation Institute and the National Maritime Partnership have released the results of a study showing the impact of the American domestic shipping industry on the Pacific Northwest economy. According to a new report prepared by leading consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Transportation Institute, U.S. domestic shipping is responsible for $2 billion in economic activity in Alaska and another $6 billion in Washington State. R… Continue Reading


05.21.19

Navajo-Hopi Observer: Reintroduction of Savanna’s Act gives hope to many in Indian country

Last week, a bipartisan group of congressional members reintroduced Savanna's Act, a bill that aims to clarify future responsibilities that law enforcement has in responding to missing and murdered indigenous people and increase communication between federal, state and tribal officials. Representatives Torres (D-CA), Newhouse (R-WA), and Haaland (D-NM), working in coordination with the offices of Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Cortez-Masto (D-NV), crafted this important legislation in order to co… Continue Reading


05.21.19

Fosters: OPINION: Another View: Keep competition for minerals from erupting into a conflict

by V.K. Mathur

Amid a growing need for materials deemed critically important in the production of a multitude of commercial products ranging from cell phones and laptops to flat televisions and batteries for electric vehicles, one of the enigmas is how the United States can ignore its growing dependence on imported minerals and metals. Our country is 100 percent import-reliant on 18 minerals and metals considered "critical" by the defense or interior departments. And more than 50 percent reliant on many more … Continue Reading


05.21.19

KFSK: Forest Service chief: agency auditing Alaska region timber program

by Joe Viechnicki

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service has responded to the Petersburg borough that the federal agency is conducting an audit of the timber program on national forest land in the Alaska Region. Vicki Christiansen's May 8th letter to borough mayor Mark Jensen apologizes for a delayed response. It also says the National Forest system's acting deputy chief Christopher French on April 20, 2018 requested a formal audit of the Alaska Region's timber program, including timber cruise and appraisals. Chri… Continue Reading


05.20.19

American Maritime Partnership: The Domestic Maritime Industry Creates 6,520 Jobs and $1.98 Billion of Economic Impact in the State of Alaska

The Alaska Federal Delegation joined the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the domestic maritime industry, to announce a 44 percent increase in jobs in the domestic maritime industry in Alaska. According to the findings of a new report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the Jones Act fuels a strong domestic maritime industry in Alaska and across the region. The industry employs more than 6,500 individuals, produces $1.98 billion… Continue Reading


05.20.19

National Law Review: Surprise Billing Comparison: What You Need to Know

The question is not if, but how: How will lawmakers tackle surprise billing? What started out as question for a small Senate working group in 2018 has turned into one of the major health priorities of both parties. Over the past year, discussion drafts were released, bills were introduced, and lawmakers sought feedback from stakeholders in an effort to produce bipartisan comprehensive legislation. In the last three days, two major bills have emerged (and more are on the way): On May 14, 2019, R… Continue Reading


05.19.19

Richmond Times-Dispatch: OPINION: David Banks column: Make smart changes to the General Mining Law

by David Banks

Clamp a royalty on minerals and metals mined on federal lands in the United States? Congress is considering doing so as part of an effort to radically change the General Mining Law. It would be a mistake that would penalize U.S. companies and workers, make worse our dependence on foreign sources of metals and minerals critical to the national defense, and hamper efforts to reduce carbon pollution. The most destructive effect of a bill introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) would be on U.S. … Continue Reading


05.17.19

Detroit Authority: Senators Look to Rally U.S. EV Material Production

by Joseph Szczesny

While the Trump administration - through the Environmental Protection Agency - continues to press for changes in fuel economy regulations that would to sideline efforts to put more EVs on the road across the United States, the U.S. Congress is getting nervous about China's fast moving electric-car effort. Both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate are voicing support for a national electric car supply chain policy in the United States Senate, according to a report from Reuters. The Sena… Continue Reading


05.17.19

Becker's Hospital Review: Senators release plan to end surprise medical bills with arbitration: 8 things to know

by Kelly Gooch

A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled legislation to end surprise medical bills. Eight things to know: 1. Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Bill Cassidy, R-La., and a bipartisan group of senators introduced the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act May 16. Ms. Hassan and Mr. Cassidy, along with Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Todd Young, R-Ind., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Tom Carper, D-Del., announced the introduction of the bill. 2. The legislation would prohibit surprise billing for emergency … Continue Reading


05.17.19

KITV4: Schatz introduces legislature to help Defense Dept. take on child pornography

U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) re-introduced bipartisan legislation that would help the Pentagon stop the use of the Defense Department's network to possess, procure and even produce child pornography. The measure, End National Defense (END) Network Abuse Act is said to give military leaders tools needed to get rid of child pornography on DoD's network, go after offenders and protect children. "The widespread abuse of the Department of Defense's network to … Continue Reading

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