Articles & Op-eds


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


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


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


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


KYUK: Coronavirus Update: US Sen. Lisa Murkowski

by Anna Rose MacArthur and Johanna Eurich

Congress is working on an additional funding package to help deal with the pandemic's effects on the country. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says that the Senate has approved an additional $484 billion for COVID-19 response, including money for hospitals, small businesses, and testing. The bill is being fast tracked. "The House is scheduled to take that bill up tomorrow morning [April 23]. So I would anticipate the president would sign that into law perhaps as early as tomorrow, maybe on [April 24],"… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News Miner: Senate approves CARES Act ‘2.0’ to make up for losses in original bill

by Erin McGroarty

The U.S. Senate earlier this week unanimously passed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief bill, legislation members of Congress are calling "the CARES Act 2.0." The bill includes additional funding for many of the same areas addressed in the first version of the act and holds few new provisions, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained to reporters Wednesday. "We recognize that when we passed the first supplemental, when we passed the Families First bill and when we passed the CARES Act, we k… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: OPINION: Attacks on Native corporations over CARES Act are unfair

by Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young

During the last global pandemic, the 1918 Spanish flu, more people died per capita in Alaska than almost anywhere else in the world. Native elders still tell of entire villages getting wiped out. Our state has to use every tool available to respond to this pandemic because the barriers to providing care and preventing outbreaks are daunting. Alaska is larger than 177 nations. If it were a country, it would be in the top 20 by landmass. There are more than 200 remote, predominately Native, comm… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Senate approves CARES Act ‘2.0’ to make up for losses in original bill

by Erin McGroarty

The U.S. Senate earlier this week unanimously passed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief bill, legislation members of Congress are calling "the CARES Act 2.0." The bill includes additional funding for many of the same areas addressed in the first version of the act and holds few new provisions, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained to reporters Wednesday. "We recognize that when we passed the first supplemental, when we passed the Families First bill and when we passed the CARES Act, we k… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: New $484 billion coronavirus relief bill will bring more loan funds to Alaska

by Alex DeMarban

The $484 billion COVID-19 aid package awaiting passage in Congress will provide a much-needed boost to programs designed to help Alaska and U.S. businesses, the state's congressional delegation said Wednesday. The bill includes $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program and another $60 billion to shore up the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and grant program. The loan programs were funded in the massive $2.2 trillion COVID relief package passed last month, but ran out of money las… Continue Reading


KINY: Murkowski, Sullivan applaud COVID-19 funding package

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan are applauding unanimous Senate passage of a coronavirus relief package. The package totals $484 billion, which provides additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, COVID-19 testing, and added support for hospitals. The purpose of the majority of this funding is to provide a boost to programs that were previously authorized and funded from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act which was signed into law in March. The bi… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: A long, steady push brought the F-35s to Eielson

by Alistair Gardiner

Tuesday's touchdown of a pair of the nation's newest fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base marks the end of a decades-long effort to have the aircraft stationed at the installation. With a total price tag of about $400 billion, the F-35 program is the costliest weapons program in U.S. military history. Getting the aircraft to Eielson has been a complicated and precarious process. The F-35 program began in the 1990s with plans for a basic airframe that, with some adjustments, would fulfill fig… Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Sen. Murkowski urges FCC to give utilities, first responders priority on spectrum band

by Dave Kovaleski

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow emergency responders and utilities to continue to have priority usage of the 6 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band. Murkowski's plea comes after FCC officials published a draft rule April 1, allowing unlicensed devices to utilize the 6 GHz band. It is currently occupied by only electric and natural gas utilities, along with other licensed users like first responders. Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy a… Continue Reading

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