Articles & Op-eds


Report: US needs more domestic sources for critical minerals

by Elwood Brehmer

Filling the country's domestic deficit of numerous minerals and metals has been a priority of the Trump administration, which on June 4 released a plan for addressing what it considers to be a national security issue. The Commerce Department report, entitled, "A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals" lays out the ways in which the administration believes the U.S. can improve domestic control over 31 of the 35 often hard to pronounce minerals designated as … Continue Reading


E&E News: Murkowski 'not rushing' on reform hearing

by Geof Koss

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski signaled yesterday she's not in a hurry to hold a hearing on a broad hardrock mining reform proposal that her Democratic colleagues are pressing. "I'm not rushing to it right now," the Alaska Republican told E&E News yesterday of the hearing request made by nine of her Democratic colleagues last week on the reform bill, S. 1386 (Greenwire, June 12). The House Natural Resources Committee has already held a hearing on reforming th… Continue Reading


BuiltIn: Sens. Klobuchar and Murkowski address health privacy gaps in new legislation

by Folake Dosu

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was a huge leap forward in health care privacy that set the standard for health information protection. Now, it's under fire for being outdated. In response to the changing healthcare technology landscape, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota and Lisa Murkowski, R-Arkansas are pushing legislation that would account for emerging technology such as health apps and direct-to-consumer genetic tests, reports Health IT Security. … Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Senate bill would reduce energy, water use in federal buildings

by Dave Kovaleski

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced last week a bill to establish energy and water usage reduction goals for federal buildings. The bill, the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act of 2019, is cosponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). It would authorize the program to do this - the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) - through 2030. "Increasing energy efficiency is an idea we s… Continue Reading


Arctic Today: New US icebreaker to be based in Seattle

by Melody Schreiber

The first heavy icebreaker to be taken into service by the U.S. Coast Guard since the 1970s will be be home-ported in Seattle, Washington, the Coast Guard announced Monday. Two subsequent icebreakers, if built, will also be based in Seattle. "The Pacific Northwest has been the home of our icebreaking fleet since 1976, and I am confident that the Seattle area will continue to provide the support we need to carry out our critical operations in the polar regions," said Adm. Karl Schultz, commandan… Continue Reading


Federal News Network: Federal workers could have benefits protected during future government shutdowns

by Eric White

To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe on PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best listening experience on desktop can be found using Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Two bills to protect federal employees' health insurance benefits during future government shutdowns advanced to the full House for a vote. The House Oversight and Reform Committee cleared both pieces of legislation last week. One ensures employees who experience a major life event can immediately enro… Continue Reading


Elko Daily: OPINION: America's energy, tech and defense future needs mining

by John Adams

As the recent trade war with China has escalated, Beijing has implied that it may retaliate by withholding rare earth minerals. Such a strategic vulnerability - and America's alarmingly high reliance on imported minerals and metals - is now in the spotlight for all the world to see. China's rare earth threat underscores just how perilous U.S. mineral import reliance has become. While rare earths are currently the focus, America's overall reliance on imports of these minerals is indicative of a … Continue Reading


AmmoLand: NSSF Commends U.S. Sen. Graham’s 2019 Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) today is commending U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) introduction of S. 1788, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2019, which will strengthen the criminal penalties for thefts of firearms from federally licensed retailers. "Thefts from federally licensed firearms retailers represent particularly brazen offenses that hold potential for additional crime when stolen guns are sold on the street," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior V… Continue Reading


mHealth Intelligence: New AMA Policy Supports Project ECHO, CPAP Telemedicine Programs

by Eric Wicklund

The American Medical Association is throwing its support behind two telemedicine models that aim to improve provider education and patient access to care in rural and underserved parts of the country. During its Annual Meeting this week, the AMA adopted a policy to encourage implementation of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) and Child Psychiatry Access Project (CPAP) programs by academic health centers and community-based primary care physicians. Both programs use conn… Continue Reading


The Hill: Female senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster

by Jordain Carney

When female senators met for dinner on Tuesday night, they hatched a plan born out of a similar frustration: It was taking the Senate too long to vote. "This is one of the things that happen when the women get together for dinner. …There was discussion about 'why the heck is this taking so long.' So Lisa said we should all be on the floor, sit on the floor and basically shame the guys to, you know, hurry up and vote," said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). The group, which has nicknamed its… Continue Reading


KTVF: New battery storage systems help bring energy stability to rural Alaska

by Sara Tewksbury

On Friday, June 9, 2019, Cordova had a ribbon cutting for their new 500 kW Battery Energy Storage System and energy leaders from Washington D.C. and Alaska were there to celebrate the new system. One of the first projects of this kind in Alaska was GVEA's battery energy storage system commissioned in 2002, when it was the largest in the world. "A lot of people are probably unaware that Golden Valley has one of the world's largest battery energy storage systems, and when it was installed, and f… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: The Izembek road fight: Trump administration right to press ahead for much-needed road

News-Miner opinion: The proposed road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge would hardly seem to be an issue of concern for residents of Interior Alaska. The refuge is located, after all, about 1,300 miles away from Fairbanks near the far end of the Alaska Peninsula. But it is a concern. And that is why it is good to hear that the administration of President Donald Trump has agreed to appeal the late March decision of an Anchorage federal judge to block the project. The reason Interior … Continue Reading


KTVF: Cordova cuts ribbon on new energy future

by Sara Tewksbury

CORDOVA, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and energy leaders were in Cordova, Alaska over the weekend for the ribbon cutting of Cordova Electric Cooperative's battery energy storage system. Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of the Energy Storage Program at the Office of Electricity, Department of Energy, has been working in energy storage for around twenty years. Gyuk says his program works to find locations to deploy battery energy storage systems that have a positive business. "This particular project wi… Continue Reading


Epoch Times: China Threat to Hold Rare Earth Minerals Hostage Is Our Opportunity

by Andy Pudzer

China's recent "threat" to restrict sales of rare earth minerals to the United States is actually a tremendous opportunity for America. Although China currently dominates global production of rare earth minerals-which are vital for high-tech electronics, military hardware, and other crucial products-that won't be true for long if Beijing imposes higher tariffs or stricter export quotas as leverage in its ongoing trade negotiations with the U.S. At the moment, China produces roughly 80 percent … Continue Reading


Scientific American: We Need To Get Serious about "Critical Materials"

by Morgan D. Bazilian

The U.S. is 100 percent import-reliant on 14 minerals and metals that are essential for defense technologies, consumer goods and clean energy technology, and 50 percent or more reliant for another 30, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. These numbers go beyond the recent headlines on rare earths to illustrate fundamental building blocks of the energy transition: lithium, cobalt and nickel for batteries, and materials for solar power and wind turbines. In many of these areas, China has becom… Continue Reading


Marie Claire: The Invisible Victims

by Christa Hillstrom

In June 2017, sisters Ashley and Kimberly Heavy Runner Loring were full of plans. Ashley hoped to leave her home on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, east of Glacier National Park in Montana, later that summer for Missoula, where she would live with Kimberly while studying environmental science at the University of Montana. But while Kimberly was away for a few months getting to know her fiancé's family in Morocco, Ashley grew despondent. The then-20-year-old was devastated following a br… Continue Reading


KYUK: AG Barr says ‘everything is on the table’ to solve Alaska’s public safety crisis

by Krysti Shallenberger

Late last month, U.S. Attorney General William Barr spent three days touring Alaska with the congressional delegation to hear about and see for himself the lack of public safety in rural Alaska. He spent a day in Bethel and the nearby village of Napaskiak. Barr's security detail outnumbered the number of village public safety officers in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, a region roughly the geographic size of Oregon. Western Alaska has a public safety crisis, one that's been there for decades. A re… Continue Reading


PR Newswire: Rodger Baker Addresses China's Global Footprint and its Implications for the Arctic and Alaska

Stratfor, the world's leading geopolitical intelligence platform, is excited to announce that Senior Vice President of Strategic Analysis, Rodger Baker, will address the 2019 Northernmost Border Security Roundtable at the Joint Elmendorf-RIchardson Base, Alaska Command on June 6th. Baker will be joined by Lt. General Thomas Bussiere, Commander, Alaska Command; U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski; U.S. Congressman Don Young; U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhar… Continue Reading


Daily Energy Insider: Experts eye government role in expansion of energy storage

by Ed Roberts

A panel of experts called on the federal government to increase its role in the development of energy storage technology, which is being increasingly seen as a method to ensure energy supplies amid natural disasters and other periods of power shortages or outages. Ben Fowke, president and CEO of electric utility Xcel Energy, told the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during Tuesday's hearing on expanded development of grid-scale energy storage there are three key areas in need … Continue Reading


CBS News: Congress tackles crisis of missing and murdered Native American women

by Grace Segers

Although May 5 is nationally considered a day for celebration, in many tribal communities, it is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native American Women. The date commemorates the birthday of Hanna Harris, a young mother and member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana, who was reported missing in July 2013 and found murdered a few days later. Hanna's story is emblematic of the struggle plaguing tribal communities and indigenous women living in cities. Native American w… Continue Reading

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