Articles & Op-eds


Arctic Today: Why human trafficking is a serious — but mostly invisible — problem in Alaska

by Melody Schreiber

Kimberly Larson remembers the first time she was approached by human traffickers. She was 12 years old, walking downtown in Anchorage, and strangers pulled over to ask if she wanted a meal at Wendy's. They asked where she was living, what she needed. "They were looking for a young girl to exploit," she told ArcticToday. It didn't work. The strangers' oddly familiar questions set off alarm bells for Larson, and she kept walking. By the time Larson reached her forties, she thought she was out o… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Cold Case Bill Gains Steam

by Dave Kolpack

A bill originally meant to help law enforcement investigate cold cases of murdered and missing indigenous women that has floundered in Congress for two years may have the missing ingredients to become law - money and muscle. The money comes from an appropriations subcommittee chaired by Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who told The Associated Press that for the first time funding is being directed specifically to murdered and missing indigenous people. The muscle comes from the White Hou… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Trump orders Reagan-era Alaska mapping initiative to continue

by Erin McGroarty

Alaska's all-Republican congressional delegation is celebrating a memo by President Donald Trump calling for the continuation of an initiative to map areas of Alaska's coastline and oceans. The memo, building upon a memo issued in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan, directs federal agencies to continue mapping the shoreline and nearshore of Alaska and the rest of the United States EEZ or exclusive economic zone. The EEZ is among the largest in the world, including more than 13,000 miles of c… Continue Reading


ThinkGeoEnergy: Why new introduced legislation can provide an important boost to geothermal in the U.S.

by Alexander Richter

In October this year, U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced bipartisan legislation to accelerate geothermal energy development in the United States, see "Senate/ Republican News". The Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act of 2019 (the "AGILE" Act), we reported on it, includes provisions for research and development of both existing and enhanced geothermal systems, resource assessment updates, grant program authorization, and improved permitting. This… Continue Reading


KTUU: New legislation would address cold cases of missing women in Alaska

by Derek Minemyer

A list of names highlights a grim reality in Alaska - a crisis of missing or murdered indigenous women and children. More than 50 such cases are missing from law enforcement records, according to the Urban Indian Health Institute. These unsolved cases leave families scarred and desperate for answers -- prompting action from federal lawmakers to provide closure once and for all. "If you have a family member who has gone missing, who was murdered and the case has not been solved, think about the… Continue Reading


KTVA: Bills aim to fight violent crimes against Alaska Native women

by Jennifer Summers

Two bills co-sponsored by Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski and aimed at helping prosecute crimes against Alaska Native women are headed to the Senate for consideration, according to a release from the senator's office. Murkowski says the bills - Savanna's Act and Not Invisible Act - address the crisis of missing, murdered and trafficked Native women. The measures, also sponsored by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, encourage coordination between law enforcement and tribal leaders and attempt … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: LETTER: F-35s and Fairbanks

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

This week well over a dozen members of the Fairbanks community, including the military, joined Sen. Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young and me at the Lockheed Martin F-35 assembly plant in Fort Worth, Texas, where we were able to see Alaska's own F-35As currently in production and which will soon be heading to Eielson Air Force Base. It was truly fitting for members of the community to be there to celebrate this milestone. The group included part of the original Tiger Team - mayors, representat… Continue Reading


Arctic Sounder: Senators introduce legislation for Arctic security center

by Shady Grove Oliver

Arctic security is at the forefront of new legislation introduced by both Alaska senators. "It is an evolving world out there," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, speaking in Washington, D.C., on Monday. "As we are seeing the impact from climate change, as we are seeing ice recede, as we are seeing waterways open up, as we are seeing greater access, as we are seeing greater threats, what are we doing to prepare?" Murkowski was discussing legislation she introduced alongside fellow Alaska Sen. Dan Sulli… Continue Reading


LSTK: Wrangell mayor urges US Senate to keep federal funds flowing

by June Leffler

Alaska cities and boroughs can't develop or collect property taxes on federal land, but sometimes they've got a lot of it. The City and Borough of Wrangell, for instance, has just 2,500 people, but covers an area that's larger than Delaware. Wrangell Mayor Steve Prysunka testified in the U.S. Senate Thursday in favor of two federal programs that reimburse local governments for the public land in their backyard. Because of the Tongass National Forest, Prysunka said, more than 97 percent of his … Continue Reading


Senate Finally Advances Bills Addressing Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

by Jennifer Bendery

It's taken all year, but the Senate finally inched forward with legislation on Wednesday that addresses a largely invisible crisis in America: Indigenous women and girls are going missing and being murdered. At least 506 Native American women and girls have gone missing or been killed in 71 U.S. cities, with 330 of those cases occurring since 2010, according to a November 2018 report by Urban Indian Health Institute. The institute says that 506 number is likely a gross undercount because of the … Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: ‘Savanna’s Act’ advances in US Senate; Aimed at mending police response to violence against Native women

by Liz Ruskin

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee passed a bill Wednesday aimed at improving how law enforcement agencies deal with cases of murdered and missing indigenous women. Savanna's Act would require better data collection. It would provide training and technical assistance to tribes and local police and it would foster cooperation among agencies. The sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, says equally important to any provision within the bill's 14 pages is the message it sends to Native communities. "Becau… Continue Reading


Nextgov: Senate Committee Approves $250 Million to Fund the Electric Grid Security

by Jack Corrigan

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday advanced legislation that would devote hundreds of millions of dollars to securing the nation's power grid. The Protecting Resources on the Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology, or PROTECT, Act, would create a federal grant program to help small utilities companies strengthen the cyber protections on their infrastructure and more actively participate in information sharing efforts. Spearheaded by the Energy Department, the prog… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: AK congressional delegation tours F-35 plant in Texas

by Alistair Gardiner

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, toured Lockheed Martin's F-35 assembly plant in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday, along with a group of military and community leaders from Interior Alaska. The group got to see the first F-35 aircraft that will eventually be stationed at Eielson Air Force Base starting in spring 2020. In response to concerns about the cost of sustaining the F-35 fleet, which were raised in a Government Accountability Office report… Continue Reading


E&E News: Panel approves LWCF, parks, revenue-sharing bills

by Kellie Lunney

A Senate panel this morning approved legislation to provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, reform offshore drilling revenue sharing and tackle the multibillion-dollar backlog in national parks. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee also reported out a flurry of bills that would boost funding for Department of Energy research and increase the department's focus on clean energy technologies. In addition, the committee approved the administration's nominat… Continue Reading


Bloomberg: Frankenfish,’ Stem Cells, Vaping Top Questions Facing FDA Pick

by Alex Ruoff

President Donald Trump's selection to be the next head of the FDA will face a barrage of questions this week about his views on vaping, oversight of stem-cell therapies and even "Frankenfish." Stephen Hahn, chief medical executive of the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, will go before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Wednesday for his first public hearing since being nominated to become commissioner of the Food and Drug Admin… Continue Reading


Morning Consult: Murkowski, 5 Other Senators Join Push for End of Nuclear Financing Ban

by Jacqueline Toth

Six U.S. senators are calling on the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. to rescind a ban on nuclear energy financing abroad as the agency takes shape, adding to a groundswell of supporters pressuring the government to free up financial assistance for civil nuclear projects. The prohibition "sends a harmful signal that American primacy in the civil nuclear sector is waning," wrote Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va… Continue Reading


KTVA: Murkowski concerned, urges action over Google health partnership

by Jennifer Summers

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is teaming up with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, to ask the Department of Health and Human Services to look into the partnership between tech giant Google and Ascension Health System over privacy concerns. The two senators wrote a letter urging the department to look into the collaboration, called Project Nightingale. The project allows Google employees access to the sensitive health record of nearly 50 million Americans. According to the letter to HHS Secretary Alex Aza… Continue Reading


Arctic Today: Alaska’s US senators push for a new Arctic shipping committee

by Melody Schreiber

A new formal advisory committee could be one way to consolidate existing but scattered discussions about the U.S. federal approach to Arctic ports and shipping - and lead to better policies. That's the promise behind a bill introduced last week by Alaska's two U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both Republicans), to create an Arctic Shipping Federal Advisory Committee. The bill, which was also sponsored by Mississippi senator Roger Wicker, comes as Arctic maritime activity is on t… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski queries officials from CDC, FDA about youth vaping

by Kyrie Long

At a Wednesday morning hearing, Sen. Lisa Murkowski addressed some of her concerns regarding rising e-cigarette use among youths and the outbreak of vaping-associated pulmonary illness, The Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions' hearing, "Examining the Response to Lung Illnesses and Rising Youth Electronic Cigarette Use," addressed vaping and e-cigarette use in the United States. In Alaska, there has not been a confirmed case of vaping-associated pulmonary illness. However, … Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: Energy secretary nominee says tiny nuclear reactors could power Alaska villages

by Liz Ruskin

President Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of energy says he would continue the quest to develop mini nuclear reactors that could one day power communities in rural Alaska. "We want to get to a place where we can develop small micro-reactors, one to five megawatts," Dan Brouillette said Thursday at his confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. The idea of nuclear reactors frightens many, but among their advantages is that they don't produce greenhouse gas emissions the … Continue Reading

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