Articles & Op-eds


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Delegates praise ANWR opening in tax bill

by Erin Granger

Alaska's congressional delegation, as well as Gov. Bill Walker, are praising legislation folded into the Senate's recently passed tax reform bill to open the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration and development. Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said passage of the Senate GOP's tax overhaul and the subsequent vote to open the 1002 area for oil development was a milestone in securing the state's energy future. "Opening the 1002 Area and tax reform both stand… Continue Reading


OPINION: Why I Support Eliminating the Individual Mandate Tax Penalty

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

I have always supported the freedom to choose. I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy, in order to avoid being taxed. That is the fundamental reason why I opposed the Affordable Care Act from its inception and also why I cosponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate tax penalty starting as early as 2013. And that is why I support the repeal of that tax today. Over the course of this year, the Senate has considered bills th… Continue Reading


OPINION: 150 years of the Army in Alaska

by Captain Richard Parker

SITKA, Alaska - I recently attended the 150-year commemoration of the transfer of Alaska, previously known as Russian America, from tsarist Russia to the United States. The original ceremony occurred in Sitka (New Archangel while under Russian rule) on October 18, 1867, and just like the modern ceremony, the U.S. Army was present for the first ceremony.Seeing modern-day Paratroopers mingling with Sitka residents dressed as Civil War-era Soldiers impressed upon me just how prominently our Army ha… Continue Reading


KSRM: Allowing Alaska Ivory Act Introduced To Remove Bans

by Dorene Lorenz

After states like California banned all ivory following a domestic ban on African elephant ivory, this week U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski introduced Senate Bill 1965: the Allowing Alaska Ivory Act. Since the elephant ivory ban, Murkowski says Alaskan ivory has been confiscated at airports around the country. Senator Lisa Murkowski R-AK: "Unfortunately, what has happened is there has been unintended negative consequences on the Alaska Native Arts economy." The legis… Continue Reading


The Hill: OPINION: Congress has a chance to make saving for college a lot easier

by Young Boozer

As back to school season, September is marked by heightened attention to education. To further this mindset, The College Savings Plans Networkalso recognizes September as college savings month to highlight the importance of saving for higher education expenses. With recent college finance statistics essentially screaming for the need to save, this awareness month couldn't be more timely. According to the College Board, the average total cost at public four-year institutions is $20,090 for in st… Continue Reading


OPINION: We can reform health care with open process, all hands

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

When Republicans assumed the majority in the Senate in January 2015, we pledged to return to "regular order," governing openly, processing bills through committee and opening the floor debate to members of both parties. Committee work takes time and floor debates can appear confusing, but they give the public a chance to contribute and allow input from all members in developing policy. Leader Mitch McConnell led us through a productive process that resulted in bipartisan achievements like the fi… Continue Reading


GRAY TV: A nutritional trendsetter, Sen. Murkowski growing lettuce on Capitol Hill

by Peter Zampa

Things are getting green in Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) Washington, D.C. office. Inspired by an Alaska renewables innovator, Murkowski is growing vegetables in her office waiting room for all to see. Murkowski says fresh vegetables should always be accessible. "We can be growing lettuce year-round in a Senate office," said Murkowski. She is a nutritional trendsetter on Capitol Hill. Three buckets, a pump and some seeds; Murkowski is eating green in D.C. She wants it known that if one wants… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Health reform revived: Murkowski says bills will advance via committee process

by Erin Granger

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said the health care discussion in Congress is moving forward nearly a month after the failed Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "The committee process, which is something that I had been pounding the drum on for months and months, is underway," Murkowski said at a Monday interview with the Daily News-Miner editorial board. Murkowski, a Republican who was re-elected in November, was one of the deciding votes in blocking the repeal attempt i… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: Bill rider holds GE salmon at bay

by Liz Ruskin

Federal regulators have already approved a genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. One reason it's not for sale in the U.S.: A few short paragraphs that have hitched a ride on a congressional spending bill. Regulators say GE salmon can't be sold until the FDA publishes final labeling guidelines, and the agency hasn't. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has again inserted that rider in the agriculture spending bill, which would continue the restriction for another year. The bill cleared t… Continue Reading


E&E News: Timber interests cheer Senate energy bill provision

by Marc Heller

Energy legislation awaiting action in the Senate could boost timber interests trying to gain more business on federal construction projects. The bill, S. 1460, proposed in late June by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), calls on the Energy Department to honor four industry-sponsored certification systems for sustainable forestry in "green" construction. That's more than U.S. EPA accepts for its green-building certification, and industry groups say the pro… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: An Alaskan wants to put a lettuce tower in every elementary school in America

by Erica Martinson

Last month, Bernie Karl flew down to Washington, D.C., and installed a hydroponic grow tower in Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office. Next, he wants to hit every public school in Alaska. Karl, who owns Chena Hot Springs northeast of Fairbanks, has a mission: He wants to teach kids how to feed their families using cheap, easily obtained materials. Karl's daughter has a tower at her house - hers grows strawberries and cherry tomatoes, he said. In Murkowski's office, the tower grows only lettuc… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Farming Alaska’s seas

by Bethany Goodrich

It's 4:30 a.m. and the wake-up alarm screams. There is no escape. There's barely enough room to roll over. Lia Heifetz, Matthew Kern and Clayton Hamilton stumble to their feet in the dank belly of the F/V Dial West. Time to go kelping. "Kelp has always been a guaranteed catch for us when the fish weren't biting," laughs Heifetz. The crew pulls the anchor and leaves the quiet safety of Cosmos Cove, east of Baranof Island. They scan the opalescent horizon for beds of bullwhip kelp to harvest. He… Continue Reading


SitNews: Bills Introduced to Improve the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

Last week a total of 15 bills were introduced to improve the 46 year-old Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and ensure that it continues to serve Alaska Native residents, tribes, and corporations. "ANCSA was intended to be a living measure that would change as the needs of Alaska Natives changed," U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said. "Over the years, Congress has amended the Act more than 40 times, and this package contains the latest series of common-sense solutions to real issues… Continue Reading


The Hill: Op-ed: Supporting the role of subnational governments and the value they add to our interests in the Arctic

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Justice Louis Brandeis coined the phrase "laboratories of democracy" to describe how states, as subnational governments, could try social and economic experiments that might later become a model for the entire nation. Today a new, but similar laboratory is emerging in the Arctic, as regional and local leaders are connecting to share experiences and best practices. As the United States transitions away from its chairmanship of the Arctic Council, we would do well to look at what is taking place i… Continue Reading


APRN: Cordova hosts U.S. Senate field hearing on microgrids

by Rachel Waldholz

When it comes to emerging energy technologies, many remote Alaska communities are on the cutting edge. That was the message from Cordova this weekend, where U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski held a field hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she chairs. The focus of the hearing was microgrids: self-contained electrical grids, which can operate unconnected to any larger transmission system. They're a necessity for just about every Alaska community off the road system. Mos… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: OPINION: Investment in national parks pays rich return for Alaska

by Sarah Leonard

New Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recent visit to Alaska made him one of what is likely to be a record number of visitors to Alaska's public lands this year. Public lands, including national parks and forest lands in Alaska, are a crucial part of our state's thriving tourism industry. Alaska has 15 national parklands comprising 60 percent of the entire national park system. People made more than 2.7 million visits to national parks in Alaska in 2016, infusing our economy… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Interior secretary vows to reinvigorate Alaska oil industry

by Nathaniel Herz

President Donald Trump's interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, drew cheers from some industrial-minded Alaskans on Wednesday when he pledged to pave the way for new development on the North Slope and reinvigorate the state's oil industry. "The only path for energy dominance is a path through the great state of Alaska," Zinke told the audience at an Anchorage conference hosted by the state's major oil industry group, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. Flanked by politicians and hard-… Continue Reading


KTVA: Interior Secretary Zinke focuses on energy, parks during Alaska visit

by Heather Hintze

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in Alaska for his first visit to the state since his confirmation to the position in March. His first public appearance included a ride to the Alaska Veteran's Memorial on the George Parks Highway with the Alaska Vets Motorcycle Club for their 29th annual Memorial Run. "I think it's important on Memorial Day to recognize why we fight," Zinke said. "There's a kindred spirit among brothers and sisters who have fought and it's great to be in Alaska with them." He… Continue Reading


Ketchikan Daily News: EDITORIAL: Checked off

It's a checkmark in the "done" column. The U.S. Senate passed a 2017 appropriations bill this week, removing the all-too-frequent worry of whether the government will shut down. Instead of dragging out the question of whether it will, the bill covers federal expenses through the end of September. Federal agencies have their answer in what will be paid for. In Ketchikan, the answer is particularly welcome. An item included in the bill will eliminate the possibility of timber harvest on a porti… Continue Reading


Gray TV: Sen. Murkowski secures funding for Alaska in spending bill

by Ted Fioraliso

Lawmakers in Washington are a step closer to avoiding a government shutdown. On Wednesday, the House passed a $1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through September 30th. The Senate is expected to vote on the package on Thursday. As chair of Senate Appropriations Committee's Interior Subcommittee, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says she's in a position to ensure Alaska's interests are protected and represented. This omnibus spending bill includes funding to fight wildfires, EPA a… Continue Reading

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