Articles & Op-eds


Alaska Public Media: Congressional delegation eyes federal funds at risk in state budget impasse

by Liz Ruskin

A pile of federal dollars on the line as legislators negotiate the state's capital budget and whether to restore some of the roughly $400 million Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed. "I am certainly one who has been encouraging everyone to come together. This is pretty high stakes for all of us in the state," Sen. Lisa Murkowski said this week. With the vetoes, the state will forfeit at least $22 million from the federal government. Some of the vetoes will cost the state more in federal dollars than the… Continue Reading


Utlity Drive: Sen. Murkowski teases prospects for storage as committee advances 22 energy bills

by Iulia Gheorghiu

Dive Brief: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday advanced 22 energy bills, ranging from nuclear power to energy efficiency and fossil fuel research, through largely bipartisan support. The bill markup did not include proposals for energy storage-related bills, despite a range of bipartisan legislation focused on research and development. The storage industry has been advocating for a technology-specific tax credit to enable further competition in the market and has no… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Alaska congressional delegation urges budget compromise to protect federal funding

by Alex DeMarban

Alaska's congressional delegation urged lawmakers and the governor to prioritize Alaskans and find a way through an unprecedented budget divide that threatens federal funding. In separate statements, the three members of the delegation said they're working to protect federal funds that are key to the Alaska economy. The state's lawmakers have yet to complete a capital budget amid a continued battle over Gov. Mike Dunleavy's $444 million in vetoes to the state operating budget. Alaska's senior… Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Lawmakers launch energy initiative

by Douglas Clark

As part of an effort to expand the nation's global energy reach, a group of Senate lawmakers recently developed an energy initiative designed to nurture such an endeavor. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee recently conducted a hearing to unveil the Strategic Energy Initiative. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the LNG hearing, said that the initiative would provide a framework to strengthen the country's geopolitical posture. The tools include federal departments and agenci… Continue Reading


Water Finance and Management: COMMENTARY: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

by Dan Buckley

As contractors, engineers and business owners, we deal with numbers every day. As I give you a recent summary of how our elected officials have been behaving, I ask you to remember a scene from a movie that is over 20 years old: Dr. Evil in "Austin Powers," demanding "$1 million…no, $100 billion!" It seems that Dr. Evil can't grasp decades-exponential inflation. And the funny thing is, our elected representatives seem to have the same issue, and we actually give them the job of managing… Continue Reading


KTUU: Geothermal development is heating up in Alaska

by Matt Leseman

Volcanoes along the Aleutian chain, hot springs in the interior and the Southeast. these are Alaska's three main geothermal resources. Lisa Murkowski has encouraged Alaskans to develop them. Gwen Holdmann, Director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power says the main thing stopping development is the distance. "At the end of the day, if you're looking at economic development of these resources, you need to have some sort of a load within a reasonable distance to make it worth developing or s… Continue Reading


CoastAlaska: Forest Service chief makes quiet visit to Tongass National Forest

by Jacob Resneck

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen was hosted this past weekend in Southeast Alaska by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The trip gave Chief Christiansen a direct look at challenges and opportunities in the Tongass National Forest and an opportunity to hear from local stakeholders and tribal leaders about the need to build a strong, sustainable economy in the region. "I thank Chief Christiansen and her team for joining me in Southeast to see and experience our nation's largest natio… Continue Reading


Automotive Logisitics: Running out of juice – will demand for battery materials outstrip supply?

As OEMs accelerate their EV programmes, there is growing concern that demand for battery materials will outstrip supply. Gavin du Venage considers the risks Environmentalists hope that a transition to electric vehicles (EVs) will secure cleaner air in the near future and carmakers are putting increasing resources into electrification, but few people supporting the rise of EVs consider the viability of the raw material resources being fed into the lower end of this new type of automotive supply … Continue Reading


American Institute of Physics: The Week of July 8, 2019

Science Committee to Spotlight Disappearing Glaciers and Ice Sheets The House Science Committee has invited five scientists to testify at a hearing Thursday on the worldwide recession of glaciers and ice sheets. Alongside decreases in the seasonal coverage of sea ice, the retreat of permanent masses of land-based ice represents one of the most visible early effects of climatic warming. Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the rapid deterioration of parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are an… Continue Reading


SitNews: $53 Million Approved for Fishermen & Stakeholders Affected by 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pink

by Mary Kauffman

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the approval of $53.8 million to restore losses for Alaska fisheries impacted by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster. NOAA approved the funds Tuesday and transferred the funds to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the agency tasked with distributing the relief payments to fishermen and their deckhands, processors, and for salmon research in the affected regions. "This funding has been a long-time … Continue Reading


Defense News: What will the US defense industry do when China cuts off rare earth supplies?

by Jeffery A. Green

On June 17, Chinese state-controlled media again threatened disruption of rare earth supplies to the United States - this time targeting U.S. defense contractors. The astonishing threat noted that "military equipment firms in the United States will likely have their supply of Chinese rare earths restricted" and follows calls just weeks ago to shut off rare earth supplies to the United States. The latest comments follow a meeting of China's state economic planner, the National Development and Re… Continue Reading


Wall Street Journal: Equal Rights Amendment Could Soon Be Back in Congress

by Kristina Peterson

The last amendment to the U.S. Constitution took 203 years to ratify. A Supreme Court ruling in June has revived hopes-and controversy-over whether another such change, the Equal Rights Amendment, could be ratified far sooner. Congress could face the issue, and a host of complicated legal questions, early next year. Already, the ERA, which says "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex," has surfaced on the 2020 campai… Continue Reading


Washington Examiner: House bill targets illicit use of Pentagon networks

by Regina Barton

Bipartisan legislation introduced Tuesday in the House seeks to stop the use of Department of Defense computer networks for sharing child pornography. The bill, called the End National Defense Network Abuse Act, was introduced in response to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation that showed over 5,000 individuals used Pentagon networks to access child pornography websites. Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Mark Meadows of North Carolina introduced the legislation. The… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Senators press feds on commitment to Native American safety

Lawmakers pressed the Trump administration on June 19 to respond with urgency in addressing violence against Native American women and children after they say two officials arrived at a key U.S. Senate hearing unprepared to take concrete positions on proposed legislation. The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held the hearing in Washington to review a slate of bipartisan bills aimed at stemming domestic violence, homicides and disappearances on tribal lands. The hearing followed recent p… Continue Reading


Scientific American: Safer Nuclear Reactors Are on the Way

by Mark Fischetti

Controlling carbon in the atmosphere will require a mix of energy technologies-potentially including nuclear reactors, which emit no carbon but are seen as risky because of a few major accidents. That risk could be greatly reduced. Commercial reactors have used the same fuel for decades: small pellets of uranium dioxide stacked inside long cylindrical rods made of a zirconium alloy. Zirconium allows the neutrons generated from fission in the pellets to readily pass among the many rods submerged… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski introduces International Year of the Salmon bill

by Iris Samuels

Earlier this month, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a resolution recognizing 2019 as the international Year of the Salmon. "Alaskans are incredibly proud of our salmon. My hope is that this resolution will foster discussion and collaboration that will help others more deeply appreciate the tremendous value of these fish - to understand that supporting salmon means supporting food security, marine ecosystems, Alaska Native culture, coastal communities, and economies," said Senator Murko… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: US attorney general declares emergency for public safety in rural Alaska, freeing up $10.5 million to support police

by Alex DeMarban

U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr declared an emergency for public safety in rural Alaska on Friday and announced that the Department of Justice will provide more than $10 million in emergency funds as part of a sweeping plan to support law enforcement in Alaska Native villages. The department's Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program will immediately provide $6 million to the state to hire, equip and train rural police, and for mobile holding cells. Another $4.5 million will s… Continue Reading


Associated Press: US Senate panel takes up what to do with nuclear waste

It's been more than a decade since the US government was supposed to begin moving spent nuclear fuel that has been piling up at dozens of commercial reactors around the country to a repository in the Nevada desert. The Obama administration halted development of a proposed long-term storage site at Yucca Mountain and the federal government is no closer to finding a solution to what to do with the high-level waste. Resistance is strong in Nevada and temporary storage options in New Mexico and Tex… Continue Reading


Modern Healthcare: Senate health committee may change surprise billing proposals ahead of floor vote

by Susannah Luthi

The Senate health committee approved its major healthcare package on Wednesday, but with one change to the proposed ban on surprise medical billing and potentially more to come ahead of a full Senate vote expected later this month. As it stands, the provision on surprise medical bills would cap out-of-network physician or hospital charges at a rate already negotiated by insurers. An amendment to that provision came from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and would make insurers post all the physician an… Continue Reading


Saipan Tribune: A thousand new residents

by Jon Perez

President Donald J. Trump yesterday signed H.R. 559 into law, saving the immigration status and livelihood of 1,039 individuals who have worked in the CNMI for decades and call the islands their second home. H.R. 559, or the Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act, provides a legal remedy for the 1,039 long-term humanitarian parolees and their families-people who are under the categorical parole program and those holding employment authorization documents-by granting them … Continue Reading

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