Articles & Op-eds


RTO Insider: Senate Nuke Development Bill May Hinge on Waste Issue

by Michael Brooks

A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill intended to speed development of the next generation of nuclear reactors appears to have broad support, but passage may hinge on the fate of several other bills in the chamber that would address the long lingering issue of building a permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel. The Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA) (S.903), reintroduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on March 27, is co-sponsored by 17 senators - nine Republican, eight Democratic - including p… Continue Reading


The Guardian: A Native American woman's brutal murder could lead to a life-saving law

by Jenni Monet

There was heartbreak across Indian Country in August 2017 when the body of 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind was found duct-taped in plastic in the Red River. The ribbon of water demarcates North Dakota from Minnesota, a tributary flowing northward across the Canadian border. It's where, a few years earlier, an Indigenous girl, 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, was discovered wrapped in a duvet cover and weighted down by rocks. The tales of these two tragedies and the river itself are emblemati… Continue Reading


CQ: Murkowski Wants Plan to Deal With Tribal Health Facility Costs

by Kellie Mejdrich

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, her chamber's top appropriator for Native American programs, raised alarm Wednesday that federal officials haven't planned for ballooning court-mandated costs for certain tribal health clinics, including those in her home state of Alaska. The shortfall stems from a 2016 court decision that cracked open more funding for tribally-owned buildings administering Indian Health Service programs. Under a 1975 law, tribes can run federal Indian Health Service programs through locall… Continue Reading


Maryland Matters: Cardin, Colleagues and Stars to Urge Passage of Equal Rights Amendment

by Danielle E. Gaines

Supporters of the amendment will gather on Capitol Hill for the first hearing on the measure in 36 years, lawmakers said. Cardin, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), introduced Senate Resolution 6, which would remove a ratification deadline and revive consideration of the ERA, which is just one state short of meeting the three-fourths threshold for ratification. The lawmakers say a lapsed deadline imposed by Congress was "arbitrary" and that Article V of the Constitution contains no tim… Continue Reading


Patch: Digital Coastal Mapping Seen As Way To Prepare For Floods, Storms

by Deb Belt

Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Cockeysville, has introduced a bipartisan bill that would pay for a project to produce a digital map of all 95,000 miles of the U.S. coastline. Coastal communities like Baltimore and Ocean City would benefit from the collection of geographic data about the nation's coasts that would help prepare people against floods and storms, sponsors of the legislation said. The project also would help researchers better understand storm surges, water level trends, and … Continue Reading


Gray TV: Vaping crackdown: Senator Murkowski continues push to ban flavored e-cigs

by Peter Zampa

The vaping craze continues to take the U.S. by storm. While some believe vapes help cigarette smokers quit their habits, others say flavored e-cigarettes are attracting kids who would not otherwise smoke. "I definitely tried it for the first time because I thought I was going to be cool by smoking it," said Brendan Gillan, a 22-year old e-cigarette user. Gillan started smoking electronic cigarettes at the age of 16. He says part of the reason he began vaping as a minor was due to the variety o… Continue Reading


Must Read Alaska: Icebreaker contract awarded; to be delivered in 2024

by Suzanne Downing

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have announced that Halter Marine of Pascagoula, Miss., was awarded the contract to build the nation's first new heavy Polar Security Cutter in more than 40 years. The icebreaker is to be delivered by 2024. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz called the Alaska delegation to share the news and thank them for their efforts in support of the progress to update the icebreaker fleet. The initial fixed price contract is $746 million for non-recurring engine… Continue Reading


KDLG: Murkowski asks for longer Pebble comment period

by Dave Goldman

On Friday, it came full circle. Nelson Angapak, a U.S. veteran who served during the Vietnam War era, finally received recognition he sought for his service decades ago. The Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act will enable some veterans who served from 1964-1971 to apply for land parcels of 160 acres. Many service members were not able to apply after serving and subsequently missed out. "One the primary reasons some of us kept at it was that we made a vow to Sen. [Ted] Stevens that… Continue Reading


Arctic Sounder: Rural Alaska youth among summer interns for Murkowski

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) this week announced the selection of this year's interns, young Alaskans who will work in her Washington, D.C., office during the upcoming summer. Senator Murkowski's summer internship program consists of 20 recent high school graduates who will participate in two separate, month-long sessions as well as two current college students who will serve as intern coordinators for the duration of the summer? "Year after year I look forward to the opportunity to invit… Continue Reading


Herald Net: OPINION: Commentary: Congress scores win for our nation’s public lands

by Lorna Corrigan, Martinique Grigg, and Arul Menezes

A ray of hope for the future of the outdoors came from an unlikely place in March: Washington, D.C. With the support of every single member of Washington state's congressional delegation - Republicans and Democrats - the president signed the biggest conservation legislation America has seen in a decade: the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (S. 47). The passage of the "Public Lands Package," as it was known as a bill, is worth celebrating! The omnibus package incl… Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: OPINION: Let’s change the world

by Tom Brennan

It's time to bite the bullet and admit that human activities are heating up the planet to a very dangerous point. I've been hesitant to take that bite because people are not the only cause of the problem, but they are a major source of warming and - perhaps more importantly - they are the only ones that can correct course and potentially head off some of the worst impacts. The other major cause for overheating of our fragile planet is the natural warming that has been ongoing since the end of … Continue Reading


The Trumpet: China Controls, Weaponizes Rare Earth Minerals

by Andrew Miller

China has a contingency plan to undermine the United States military by cutting off the natural resources critical to America's defense. There are 16 strategically critical metals necessary for manufacturing nearly all high-tech products, from smartphones to guided missiles. These scarce metals are called rare earth minerals. China seeks to control the global supply of rare earth minerals so it has the ability to sabotage America's military in the future. Three U.S. senators have introduced leg… Continue Reading


KTVF: Alaska senators set on King Cove road despite federal ruling

by Peter Zampa

Alaska's senators say they won't give up the fight for King Cove. After a federal judge blocked the Trump Administration's plan to create a roadway to the isolated community in March, the Alaska delegation on Capitol Hill says it is simply a legal speed bump. Neither side of the debate appears willing to budge. Following the ruling from an Alaska District Court judge, the Trump administration's attempt to hand federally protected land over to the King Cove Corporation hit a red light. The deal … Continue Reading


E&E News: Democrat: Murdered women 'an environmental injustice'

by Kellie Lunney

The "silent crisis" of missing and murdered indigenous women is an environmental issue affected by the boom and bust of oil and gas development in this country, a New Mexico Democrat said yesterday. "It's an environmental injustice," said freshman Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Haaland's brief comments on the topic came during a Natural Resources subcommittee field hearing in Santa Fe, N.M., on the impact of oil and gas development on the envi… Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds hearing on renewable technologies

by Dave Kovaleski

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing last week on opportunities for innovative energy solutions to reduce domestic and global greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who chairs the committee, noted that emissions have declined substantially in the last decade for a variety of reasons - including flat demand growth, low cost natural gas, and the declining costs of renewable technologies. "The opportunity we have in front of us is to foster an in… Continue Reading


KTOO: Murkowski calls for many ‘silver bullets’ to tackle climate change

by Krysti Shallenberger

Sen. Lisa Murkowski made an unexpected visit to Bethel Saturday on her way to Eek. Murkowski had hoped to check out Eek's new running water and a tiny home project, but she got weathered out. Instead, she joined Bethel residents in celebrating the annual Kuskokwim River breakup, which was the earliest on record. Though people shared hot dogs and experienced live music and Yuraq dance, the river's early breakup was another example of climate change taking a toll on the region. "It is a reality… Continue Reading


Connecting Vets: These WWII veterans could get $25,000 each if bill passes

by Abbie Bennett

There are about 4,000 World War II merchant mariners still alive today and a bill in the United States House would allot $25,000 to each eligible mariner in recognition of their service. A separate bill has already been sent to committee in both the House and Senate that would award the WWII merchant mariners the Congressional Gold Medal. The House's "Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2019," would establish a "Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund" to provide benefits to "certain i… Continue Reading


Utility Drive: DOE to spend additional $100M on lower emission coal plant development

by Iulia Gheorghiu

Dive Brief: The Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Friday up to $100 million will be invested in research to improve the national coal-fired power plant fleet to provide power with near-zero emissions. Also in support of this initiative, the DOE's Office of Fossil Energy announced 13 projects that received $1.95 million in funding as part of a request for proposal issued in December for power plants with reduced emissions, increased efficiency, smaller sizes and flexibility to meet the … Continue Reading


Forbes: Attorney General Barr Favors A More Lenient Approach To Cannabis Prohibition

by Sara Brittany Somerset

Attorney General William Barr testified during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on April 10, that he favors a more lenient, albeit federalist, approach to marijuana laws. He prefers for cannabis to be legalized nationwide rather than let states continue to fly in the face of federal prohibition. During the Justice Department's fiscal year 2020 budget request meeting, Barr was asked to clarify the federal government's role in enforcing drug laws in states that have legalized medical and adu… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Op-Ed: An opportunity for nuclear energy in Alaska

by Lisa Murkowski

The United States has long been a leader in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and within a few years Alaska could be on the leading edge of this clean, reliable and affordable technology. The next generation of nuclear systems - known as advanced reactors - could help relieve crippling energy prices in isolated villages and provide baseload power for an array of other applications. What's more, the technology is safer than ever before. Advanced reactors are not your grandparents' nuclear plan… Continue Reading

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