Articles & Op-eds


VOA News: US Coronavirus Death Toll Exceeds 100,000

The United States now has more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, a toll larger than the number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. As the country passed the threshold, a bipartisan group of senators renewed their call for a moment of silence to be held Monday to honor the dead. "The nation must mark this dark moment with unity and clarity,"?said Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii.?"At this time of almost unimaginable pain, it is essential that we pause to honor every life lost, a… Continue Reading


The Hill: Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits

by Rachel Frazin

The Trump administration is making it easier for renewable energy projects to take advantage of certain tax credits amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued a notice Wednesday that said it would give some companies that started construction in 2016 or 2017 an extra year before they have to put their projects in service. The notice also allows some companies additional time to receive materials for construction in order to meet a requirement to … Continue Reading


Associated Press: Four U.S. Senators Are Calling for a Moment of Silence to Honor COVID-19 Victims

Four U.S. senators, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are calling for a moment of silence to honor those who have died from COVID-19. The moment of silence is planned for noon Monday. The U.S. on Wednesday surpassed 100,000 deaths related to the pandemic, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Murkowski, a Republican, said too many families have seen loved ones suffer or been unable to have proper memorials for those who have died. "These impacts cannot be undone, but my heart is w… Continue Reading


Utility Dive: Murkowski, Collins, Tillis urge Treasury to extend aid to solar industry

by Catherine Morehouse

Three Republican senators on Thursday sent a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, urging the department to take additional steps to provide aid to the renewable energy industry. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is leading the effort, according to her office, to extend safe harbor requirements for the "start of construction" on renewables projects, as well as modifying the "physical work test" rule, which dictates when signi… Continue Reading


Ed Source: Schools would get $1 billion to help homeless students under bipartisan federal proposal

by Carolyn Jones

Homeless youth and families, who've been largely left out of federal coronavirus aid, would get more than $1 billion under a bipartisan proposal put forth this week in the U.S. Senate. The proposal includes money for shelters, motel bills, food, school supplies and other services intended to help homeless students, whose numbers are expected to grow as unemployment soars to Depression-era levels nationwide. "It's what we need right now during this crisis," said Darla Barbine, executive directo… Continue Reading


KTUU: Alaska state senators share Memorial Day Messages

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Senator Murkowski Shares Memorial Day Message: "For Alaskans, Memorial Day is typically our big kick-off for summer, with sunlight nearly all day and a long weekend to enjoy the great outdoors with our friends and family. It is also a day of tradition and ceremony as we honor the fallen who have served our nation. "This year is different for us as many of our Memorial Day ceremonies are cancelled or as we follow new guidance due to the coronavirus. But it doesn't take a large… Continue Reading


Homeland Prep News: Senators urge COVID-19 task force to provide PPE, testing for firefighters battling wildfires

by Dave Kovaleski

A group of U.S. Senators recently called on the Trump administration officials to help secure personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits for firefighters and federal law enforcement personnel charged with fighting wildfires. "Peak fire season comes closer every day. However, it is our understanding that the supply of PPE in the Federal interagency inventories does not meet the expected need, and firefighters are having trouble acquiring additional PPE on their own. We also understand … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Federal panel OKs work for 800-mile Alaska natural gas pipeline

by Erin McGroarty

The Federal Energy Regulation Commission, which is tasked with governing and managing energy projects across the country, has given Alaska the green light to continue work on a proposed 800-mile liquefied natural gas pipeline. The pipeline would stretch from a gas treatment plan on the North Slope to a processing facility in Nikiski. The idea has been a favored project of Alaska governors going back at least to the days of former Gov. Sarah Palin, with each governor since trying to take it a st… Continue Reading


Wildfire Today: Senators request PPE and testing for wildland firefighters

by Bill Gabbert

Three U.S. Senators sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence today urging the Coronavirus Task Force to help secure personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing kits for firefighters and federal law enforcement personnel tasked with wildfire response. Below are excerpts from the letter crafted by Senators Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; Joe Manchin, West Virginia; and Tom Udall, New Mexico. "Peak fire season comes closer every day. However, it is our understanding that the supply of PPE … Continue Reading


Huffington Post: Domestic Violence Programs Can’t Get Funds Quickly During COVID-19. This Bill Can Fix That.

by Alanna Vagianos

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing to provide more funding to domestic violence shelters, which are facing financial struggles, even though they are needed more than ever as millions are confined to their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The new bill, shared with HuffPost before its release, will be introduced on Thursday. It is spearheaded by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and, through a temporary technical change, would allow domestic violence-related organ… Continue Reading


Utility Dive: Treasury Department offers wind industry coronavirus lifeline with proposed safe harbor extension

The U.S. Department of the Treasury last week indicated it would move toward extending safe harbor deadlines for wind projects to fully benefit from federal tax credits in response to a letter from a bipartisan group of senators urging the department to act. The department "plans to modify the relevant rules in the near future," Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Frederick Vaughan wrote in a May 7 letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance. Grassley and … Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: Chief Medical Officer's Handling Of Coronavirus Inspires Alaskans To #ThinkLikeZink

by Nathaniel Herz

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to pick up in Alaska, Dr. Anne Zink, the state's chief medical officer, faced a difficult choice. Should she continue in-person meetings and nightly briefings with Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy? Or should she opt for a more socially distant form of engagement? Zink chose the latter, saying she wanted to model the behavior that she has been appealing to residents to follow. She now appears at Dunleavy's briefings by video. And over the past two months, she has be… Continue Reading


Chilkat Valley News: Murkowski to address graduation, virtually

Sen. Lisa Murkowski will speak at Haines School's virtual graduation ceremony later this month. In late April, Alaska Education Commissioner Michael Johnson issued a memo with Department of Health and Social Services-approved guidelines for graduation ceremonies throughout the state. The guidelines specify that in-person graduations must be limited to groups of fewer than 20 people, and those present must wear masks and refrain from physical interactions. In recent weeks, a handful of students… Continue Reading


KTUU: Alaska delegation stands by CARES Act allocation, seeks to give states more flexibility

by Grant Robinson

Alaska has the fewest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of any state in the country, but some people are criticizing Congress for the share of CARES Act aid allocated the state governments. Tuesday, an Associated Press analysis highlighted that states including Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and Wyoming do not have very many cases of COVID-19. Each state received the $1.25 billion minimum Congress set for states. States with larger populations received more. The analysis divided the amount of mo… Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider:Alaska’s congressional delegation urges Dept. of Interior to finalize EIS on Willow project

by Dave Kovaleski

Congress members from Alaska are urging the Department of the Interior to finalize the supplemental environmental impact statement for ConocoPhillips' Willow project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The Willow project is a multi-billion-dollar development proposed by ConocoPhillips in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve that contains an estimated 8.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The project could result in the production of 130,000 barrels of oil per day. "There is no doubt the… Continue Reading


KNOM: Profile: Update from Senator Lisa Murkowski on COVID-19, State of the State Economy, and Rural Alaska

by Davis Hovey

THE END OF APRIL MARKED THE RELEASE of more federal funds for Alaskans and small businesses directly affected by COVID-19. Last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke with KNOM Radio about stimulus money and other things related to the coronavirus pandemic. Hear the full conversation between KNOM's Davis Hovey and Senator Murkowski below: Murkowski: I'm Lisa Murkowski, United States Senator for the state of Alaska. KNOM: Let's start out with the COVID-19 updates. In terms of things happening with… Continue Reading


KTOO: Alaska’s top doctor says we can’t let the number of COVID-19 cases to grow unchecked

by Andrew Kitchenmann

Alaska's top doctor warned against the risk of allowing the number of COVID-19 cases to grow unchecked. Some Alaskans have argued that the state should allow enough people to contract the virus that it reaches what's known as "herd immunity," where enough people are immune that it stops spreading. State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink pushed back against this argument during a news briefing on Wednesday. For one thing, no demographic is safe from the disease. Zink noted that more than a… Continue Reading


Must Read Alaska: PPP loans revised for Alaska’s seasonal businesses

A rule change released by the Treasury Department will allow Alaska's hundreds of seasonal businesses to choose a different 12-week expense period when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan - a period that more accurately reflects their operating payroll. The Alaska congressional delegation has pressed the Trump administration for weeks and has had multiple conversations with President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking the federal government to issue guidance … Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Senators: Loan program refilled, terms now more favorable for seasonal businesses

by Peter Segall

The federal program that subsidizes loans to small businesses has been funded once again, according to Alaska's senators who spoke to reporters Monday via teleconference. At a press conference, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans, said seasonal businesses would receive loans under that program based on how many employees they have during their busiest time of year, rather than how many they currently have. That provision was problematic for a some tourism businesses, Sulliv… Continue Reading


KINY: Murkowski calls for loans for energy industry

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski joined several Senators in a letter to Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging swift action to make loans available to domestic energy producers. Murkowski signed a letter to the two top officials today along with Alaska U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan. The letter emphasized the importance of swift action, "We face a real and present danger of seeing hundreds, if not thousands of oil producers shuttering, an event that will prof… Continue Reading

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