Articles & Op-eds

01.20.10

Homer Tribune: Murkowski explains healthcare views

Efforts to shape the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the name of the new healthcare plan under debate in Congress, continue with hundreds of amendments. Eighty six of those were written by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski's amendments were to address the following: a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee healthcare bill to ensure that Alaska Natives would be able to participate in the healthcare grant programs included in the HELP bill; that Medicare patients c… Continue Reading


01.18.10

Anchorage Daily News: Stricken oil tanker approved to sail after making repairs

by By Elizabeth Bluemink. Originally published by the Anchorage Daily News on January 18, 2010

The Exxon tanker that briefly lost power in state waters Sunday while carrying more than 25 million gallons of crude oil has quickly become a poster child for pending federal legislation to beef up protection for Prince William Sound oil shipments. Two tugs escorting the 832-foot SeaRiver Kodiak through the Sound towed it to safety on Sunday morning. The tanker now is en route to San Francisco. The towing was precautionary, said Joel Kennedy, maritime operations project manager for the Prince … Continue Reading


01.17.10

KTUU: Most Alaskans against health care reform, poll says

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- With Democrats' ability to pass health care reform on the line in a U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts, a recent poll here in Alaska shows that more than half of Alaskans want their congressional delegation to vote against the legislation. According to a poll completed by Dittman Research the last week of December, 64 percent of Alaskans expect their health costs to increase, and 60 percent say they expect the quality of their care to decline if the health care p… Continue Reading


01.16.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Begich, Murkowski question contractor rule on health care

Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski have both sent letters to U.S. Senate leaders asking that a provision that puts a mandate on small construction companies that would not apply to other small firms be changed in the health care bill. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would not face the mandates that larger companies would under the health bill. But an amendment was inserted last month to say that construction businesses would only be exempt if they have five or fewer employees.The New … Continue Reading


01.16.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski is optimistic after Afghan tour

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski returned from a trip to Afghanistan last week with an unexpected sense of optimism about the future of the troubled country. Murkowski said she was encouraged to see more responsibility being taken by the Afghan army and police in securing the country. A surge in recruitment efforts makes her think the Afghan people believe their government is destined to succeed. The positive reports come from a battlefield that has proved stubborn for the U.S. military in the … Continue Reading


01.13.10

Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski goes to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined Republican lawmakers in meetings with leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan over the weekend, according to Murkowski's office. The delegation, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Razi Gilani on Friday and traveled to Kabul to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, according to Murkowski. The talks focused on political, economic and military issues, Murkowski's office said. On S… Continue Reading


01.13.10

Anchorage Daily News: After trip, Murkowski sees some progress in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- Over the weekend, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, walked through a bazaar in Garmsir, a town in Afghanistan's unstable Helmand province. That she was able to do it was remarkable, said Murkowski, who returned this week from a whirlwind, 15,000-mile journey with three other Republican senators through 15 times zones and one war zone. The senators walked through the village with Marines, but the protection for the village was the local police force, Murkowski said. "That was who was… Continue Reading


01.12.10

Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski: More Troops in Afghanistan Paying Off

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says she believes the troop surge in Afghanistan will be effective, although it will likely cost more American casualties. Alaska's senior Senator returned from a brief visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday She and three other Republican members of Congress went on the five-day trip at the invitation of the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Murkowski says they saw evidence that President Obama's recent decision to boost troops in Afghanista… Continue Reading


01.10.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaskans question what effect health care reform would have on state

FAIRBANKS - The two chambers of Congress have yet to ink final plans for remaking the country's health care system, but state leaders have long been wondering how the final product will treat Alaska. In particular, questions have sprouted about a proposed tax on high-priced, generous insurance policies. The tax would apply to the price of insurance premiums, which are high in Alaska, and is one leg of the plan to finance other sections of reform. Sen. Mark Begich, who generally supported the S… Continue Reading


12.26.09

Op-Ed: Constituents right to be upset about badly flawed bill

Usually by this time of year, members of Congress stop hearing from their constituents because they've got other things on their minds -- Christmas cards and presents and family gatherings to celebrate the holidays. But not this year. This past week, my offices in Alaska and Washington were bombarded with hundreds of calls, faxes and e-mails from constituents. The overwhelming majority were upset, even outraged, that the Senate was about to pass a partisan $2.5 trillion health care bill that in… Continue Reading


12.19.09

The Hill: Copenhagen pact met with questions

The limited global warming deal that President Obama brokered at the Copenhagen climate summit Friday has raised eyebrows and expectations in the Senate, showing that it's unclear if it will speed along slow-moving Democratic climate legislation in the upper chamber. Obama and top officials from a group of countries including China and India produced a scaled-back, nonbinding climate accord late Friday under which nations will commit to implementing their national pledges to control emissions. … Continue Reading


12.19.09

KTUU: Alaska's senators respond to final unveiling of health care bill

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- With Democrats reportedly holding the 60 votes necessary to pass it, Alaska's senators chimed in on Saturday's final unveiling of the U.S. Senate health care package. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is opposed to the bill and says it will not benefit Alaska, while Sen. Mark Begich believes the package will cut costs for Alaskans and strengthen Medicare. The Christmas deadline is becoming another topic of debate, as some disagree with the rush. "These are very complicated and obviousl… Continue Reading


12.18.09

Investors Business Daily: GOP Seeking To ‘Veto’ EPA Ruling

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told reporters Thursday that Republicans would try to pass a resolution blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The senator said she believed they had enough support to get the resolution out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. It would be unlikely to get far in the full Senate though. "For all intents and purposes, this is a veto of the (EPA) decision," Murkowski said. She made her comments in a bri… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski criticizes EPA greenhouse gas finding

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski plans to file a disapproval resolution to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions using the Clean Air Act. Murkowski made the announcement Monday after the EPA made an "endangerment finding" earlier this month that greenhouse gases threaten humans. "I remain committed to reducing emissions through a policy that will protect our environment and strengthen our economy, but EPA's backdoor climate regulations achieve neither… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Science Insider: An Interview with Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Having warmed an average of 2°C since 1948, oil-rich Alaska best embodies the dual challenges of coping with climate change while weaning the United States off fossil fuels. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, has been more accepting of the concept of humanmade climate change than other politicians in Alaska, notably former governor Sarah Palin. Having shown a willingness to engage on the issue of emissions controls as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Murkowski is se… Continue Reading


12.15.09

Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski Wants to Limit EPA’s Clout on Greenhouse Gasses

Senator Lisa Murkowski is again trying to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate greenhouse gasses. Last week the E-P-A issued findings that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gasses endanger public health. That determination allows the agency to move toward regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants. You can listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


12.14.09

The Hill: Murkowski plans ‘resolution of disapproval’ to block EPA emissions rules

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) plans to seek a rarely used congressional "resolution of disapproval" to block EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under its current Clean Air Act powers. Murkowski is scheduled to speak Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on the Senate floor about her effort to overturn EPA's "endangerment finding" this month that greenhouse gases threaten human welfare. The finding paves the way for the agency to regulate emissions from power plants, cars and other sou… Continue Reading


12.14.09

Roll Call: Murkowski Looks to Block EPA Carbon Emissions Limits

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) invoked a little-used provision of federal law that allows the Senate to override regulatory decisions by the executive branch to try to halt the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing strict new carbon emissions limits. Murkowski accused the EPA of attempting to strong-arm Congress into agreeing to a new cap on carbon emissions, a proposal Republicans have said would have dire economic effects. "Congress is being threatened in a misguided attempt to move a… Continue Reading


12.14.09

KTUU: Murkowski plans to block EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski plans to introduce a resolution of disapproval to block the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Murkowski wants to overturn the EPA's endangerment finding that greenhouse gases threaten people. She claims it's up to Congress to pass an emissions law, but the White House told the EPA to prepare to move forward. Environmentalists say Murkowski is trying to protect businesses before people, saying issues of climate change could be disastro… Continue Reading


12.14.09

Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski tries again to limit EPA rules on greenhouse gas

WASHINTON -- Her first attempt failed, but on Monday Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, moved again to try to halt the Environmental Protection Agency's movement toward regulating the emission of greenhouse gases. The federal agency last week announced that global warming pollution endangers public health, and announced plans to move forward with regulations that will limit emissions by large producers of greenhouse gases. It could be years before any EPA regulations take effect, and the White Hou… Continue Reading

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