Articles & Op-eds

10.14.19

Alaska Journal of Commerce: High hurdles remain on efforts to control health care costs

by Elwood Brehmer

State health officials are promising better communication with their private sector counterparts while national lawmakers struggle to advance seemingly popular health care reforms. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum and Sen. Lisa Murkowski recalled recent challenges and discussed their views on the future of health care policy Oct. 2 at the Alaska State of Reform health care conference held each fall in Anchorage. Crum acknowledged that the first 10 months o… Continue Reading


10.08.19

Bloomberg: INSIGHT: NELA—A Big, Bipartisan Opportunity for Nuclear Power

by Sarah E Hunt

After the recent closing of Three Mile Island, the U.S. needs to follow the bipartisan goals of the proposed Nuclear Energy Leadership Act to support the continued development of American advanced nuclear technologies by boosting investment in research and development, fuel security, and workforce development, writes Sarah E. Hunt, co-founder and CEO of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy. Nuclear science is hard, and most Americans don't realize how close our country is to losing the sk… Continue Reading


10.08.19

Anchorage Daily News: Alaska senators condemn Trump administration’s U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria

by Zaz Hollander

Joining other Republicans in Congress, both of Alaska's senators are criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria's northern border with Turkey. The decision, announced late Sunday, has already started the withdrawal of a small contingent of forces, estimated at 50 to 100, participating in joint patrols under a U.S.-Turkish agreement to establish a safe zone on the Syrian side, according to the Washington Post. Republican lawmakers are calling on the preside… Continue Reading


10.07.19

mHealth Intelligence: Senators Ask HHS to Sustain Project ECHO Telemedicine Programs

by Eric Wicklund

Close to two dozen senators are urging the Health and Human Services Department to find sustainable funding for Project ECHO telemedicine programs. In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, 22 senators urged the federal agency to issue CMS guidance to states and healthcare providers on available Medicaid financing for the innovative telehealth service, and to explore funding opportunities through existing Medicare programs. They called the connected health platform a key cog in the framework of … Continue Reading


10.04.19

Lexology: PROTECT Act Seeks to Bolster Domestic Electric Grid Cybersecurity

by Todd Mullins

On Sept. 26, 2019, the Protecting Resources on the Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT) Act was introduced in the Senate. An amendment to the Federal Power Act, the PROTECT Act aims to more effectively safeguard and defend the U.S. electric grid from global cyber intruders. Sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chair of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Angus Ki… Continue Reading


10.03.19

KTUU: Trump relaxes EPA emission regulations on generators in rural Alaska

by Gilbert Cordova and Lex Treinen

The White House Press Office says President Trump signed into law a rule to exempt rural Alaska from emissions requirements for diesel generators. The bill, "Alaska Remote Generator Reliability and Protection Act," rolls back some Obama-era regulations on diesel generators. But according to Dave Messier, the rural energy coordinator for Tanana Chiefs Conference, the new rules could actually decrease emissions, as the previous requirements made purchasing newer generators cost-prohibitive. "So… Continue Reading


10.03.19

Daily Energy Insider: Trump announces intent to nominate James Danly to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

by Kevin Randolph

President Donald Trump announced his intent this week to nominate James P. Danly as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Danly would serve the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2023. "I welcome the President's decision to nominate a Republican commissioner and to fill a critical seat that has now been vacant for nine full months," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said. "We will need to receive both … Continue Reading


10.02.19

Ripon Advance: Cassidy introduces bipartisan bill creating exceptions process for medication step therapy

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is cosponsoring a bipartisan bill that would require a group health plan or health insurance coverage offered in connection with such a plan to provide an exceptions process for any medication step therapy protocol. Such protocols are used by health plans to control spending on patient's medications and to ensure patients may safely and efficiently access treatment. In some instances, step therapy protocols may ignore a patient's unique situation and medical histor… Continue Reading


10.02.19

KTVA: Sen. Murkowski says Alaskans should feel sick about high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence

by Lauren Maxwell

Sen. Lisa Murkowski urged Alaskans to take a stand against domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse at an event Tueday at Southcentral Foundation to mark the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. "We have statistics that no one should be proud of," said Murkowski, referring to what are consistently some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, including a new one that says rape in Alaska has increased to four times the national average. "We cannot accept it. We … Continue Reading


10.01.19

Maritime Executive: Op-Ed: Congress Should Honor WWII Merchant Marine Veterans

by Denise Krepp

The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 550, Merchant Mariners of World War II Congresional Gold Medal Act of 2019. The bill was sponsored by Representative John Garamendi (D-CA) and it passed by voice vote. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced identical langauge in the Senate, S. 133, but to date the Senate hasn't voted on it. Both bills reference the merchant mariners' contribution to winning the war. Merchant mariners transported combat equipment, fuel, food, commodities, and… Continue Reading


10.01.19

Contractor Mag: PMI Applauds Budget Bill Preserving WaterSense

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) today applauded the Senate Appropriations Committee's approval of the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) budget bill for the Interior Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that preserves the EPA's WaterSense program and increases water infrastructure funding. PMI's CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole thanked Interior/EPA Subcommittee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-N.M.) for advancing the bill. "PMI is gr… Continue Reading


10.01.19

KTUU: 23 Alaska veterans head to Washington for Last Frontier Honor Flight

by Grant Robinson

On Tuesday afternoon, 23 Alaska veterans departed Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport bound for Washington D.C. where they'll visit the memorials built to honor their service and the sacrifice of their fellow soldiers. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks with veterans before they depart to Washington D.C. on the Last Frontier Honor Flight on Oct. 1, 2019. The trip is the 13th Last Frontier Honor Flight. This trip's veterans served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke w… Continue Reading


09.30.19

biosimilars: Bipartisan Bill Seeking to Curb Step Therapy Introduced in Senate

by Allison Inserro

Patient advocacy groups are pleased that a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill this week that seeks to limit the use of step therapy. The Safe Step Act of 2019 (S. 2546) was introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana; and Doug Jones, D-Alabama. The bill would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to require group health plans to provide an exception process for step therapy so that patients can access treatment without delays. Step therapy … Continue Reading


09.30.19

Market Tactic: Miners Eager For Electric Cars

by Abigale Lormen

United States Congress is yet to pass legislation regarding the steadily-growing electric vehicle industry and its supply chain activities. Miners and mining executives are keen on the idea of legislation streamlining the permitting of mines and funding of geological studies, among others, but the lawmakers haven't passed any regulation. The bills, as expected, would greatly help both the mining and electric vehicle industries. If signed into law, it would speed up the approval of mine permits,… Continue Reading


09.26.19

Washington Post: OPINION: Why I support Trump’s proposal to lift restrictions in the Tongass

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, represents Alaska in the U.S. Senate and is chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. News that President Trump might seek to exempt Alaska's Tongass National Forest from the Clinton-era "roadless rule," opening up more of the region to potential development, has met with the typical alarm from the president's critics. So it's time to set the record straight and explain why every statewide elected official in Alaska supports an exemption from the … Continue Reading


09.25.19

Maritime Executive: U.S. House Approves Bill to Recognize Merchant Mariners of WWII

The U.S. House of Representatives has given unanimous approval to a bipartisan bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the merchant mariners of World War II. "Throughout the Second World War, our armed forces relied on the Merchant Marine to ferry supplies, cargo and personnel into both theaters of operation, and they paid a heavy price in service to their country," said Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), the bill's sponsor. "The Merchant Marine suffered the highest per capita casualty rate in t… Continue Reading


09.25.19

Proactive Investor: American Battery Metals CEO Doug Cole says the US must do more to compete in the global critical minerals market

by Andrew Kessel

Lithium At a recent hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, senators discussed China's domination of the market for lithium and other strategic metals American Battery Metals Corporation (OTCMKTS:ABML) CEO Doug Cole released comments Tuesday regarding a recent Senate hearing on critical minerals, expressing that the US can and must do more to compete on the global stage. At a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on September 17, senators discussed China's domin… Continue Reading


09.25.19

Anchroage Daily News: Murkowski says Pebble mine shouldn’t be permitted unless data ‘gaps’ get explained

by Alex DeMarban

Sen. Lisa Murkowski last week expressed strong concerns about the permitting process for the Pebble copper and gold mine, saying at an event organized by a mine opponent that Pebble should not be permitted unless key questions are answered. The Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies have raised "justifiable" issues with the Army Corps of Engineers' 1,400-page draft review of the project's potential impacts, she said. "We have read what the EPA has said, and their very strong critic… Continue Reading


09.25.19

Alaska Public Media: ‘Concerning,’ ‘No comment’: Alaska senators respond to latest Trump controversy

by Liz Ruskin

The Ukraine phone call is testing Republicans anew on how closely they intend to cling to the president. Murkowski is often at the crux of moments like these, so a small mob of reporters swarmed her arrival at the Capitol Monday. One asked Murkowski if she finds it "concerning" that Trump, in the phone call, brought up investigating Biden and his son. "If he used undue - well, I don't know if undue influence is the correct term," Murkowski said. "But yes, that's very concerning." Murkowski al… Continue Reading


09.23.19

Consumer Affairs: Four senators ask for FDA ban of cartridge-based e-cigarettes

by Mark Huffman

The anti-vaping drumbeat is getting louder in Washington, as four members of the U.S. Senate have asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately ban the most popular kind of e-cigarette products from the market. The senators -- Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) -- cite the mysterious lung ailments that have been linked to e-cigarette use. In a letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless, the lawmakers call for the … Continue Reading

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