Articles & Op-eds

08.05.10

Op-Ed: The Demise of the Spill Bill

The decision this week by the Majority Leader to table oil spill legislation was deeply disappointing to everyone who wanted to see constructive policy come out of the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 100 days have passed since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank to the ocean floor. What we've learned in that time has made clear that our offshore energy regulations need reforming. Even though this has been a difficult year for the Senate, I had faith this disaster would bring us to… Continue Reading


08.04.10

Homer Tribune: Villages get COPS

Many Alaska villages - such as Nanwalek, across Kachemak Bay - often go for months, and even years without a public safety officer. Historically, the pay has been so low, many VPSOs qualified for food stamps. In Nanwalek's case, a strong tribal chief system means the village doesn't go without law enforcement. "We have our own system for taking care of a situation. I will get up at 2 in the morning, at 6, if necessary," said First Nanwalek Tribal Chief Wally Kvasnikoff. "We do pretty good keep… Continue Reading


08.04.10

Juneau Empire: Bill passed to extend permit moratorium for smaller vessels

A two-year moratorium on permit requirements for certain smaller vessels has been extended for an additional three years. The moratorium applies to permits for discharges for commercial and charter fishing vessels less than 79 feet long. This exempts these smaller vessels from having to apply permits otherwise required by the Clean Water Act. Recreational vessels were exempted two years ago. The bill to extend this moratorium until Dec. 17, 2013 was signed by President Barack Obama late Frid… Continue Reading


07.30.10

Lisa Murkowski battles for GOP hearts as Palin grows louder in Alaskan expanse

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA -- In the perpetual daylight of Alaskan summer, Sen. Lisa Murkowski spotted Rich Doran tying one of her campaign signs to a tree on the bank of the Chena River. "So how you be?" Doran greeted her, as she climbed a grassy slope. "I be fine," Murkowski said, admiring the sign. "Got good friends supporting me." "Between your dad and you," responded the craggy-faced Doran, who was wearing campaign buttons boosting both Murkowskis and former Republican senator Ted Stevens, "I'… Continue Reading


07.27.10

Alaska Public Radio Network: Bill to Mitigate Yukon Fishery Failure Passes in US House

A supplemental appropriations bill passed by the US House Tuesday includes $5 million to help mitigate the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery failure. The request for the funding was made by Senator Lisa Murkowski. The bill now goes to the White House for the president's signature. The disaster assistance helps fishermen and communities affected by the fishery failure for the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery. In 2008, the commercial salmon harvest was 89 percent below the five-year average, a… Continue Reading


07.27.10

The Tundra Drums: $5 million in disaster relief aid passes Congress for Yukon River fishermen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House has passed a 2010 supplemental appropriations bill that includes $5 million requested by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to help mitigate the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery failure, her office reported in a written statement. The bill now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature. The $58.8 billion supplemental bill, which cleared the Senate in May, provides funding to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, replenish the Federal Emergency… Continue Reading


07.26.10

The Associated Press: Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants review of 800-mile Alaska pipeline system

JUNEAU, Alaska - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has asked the operator of the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline system to conduct a safety review of the line, saying it's critical the public have the highest level of confidence in its maintenance following a power outage in May. The call by the Alaska Republican follows a recent meeting with Kevin Hostler, a former BP executive and outgoing president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. State Rep. David Guttenberg agrees with the need for confidence in the r… Continue Reading


07.22.10

KTUU: Alaska delegation asks feds to replace lost Coast Guard helicopter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's congressional delegation has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, requesting funding to replace a lost Coast Guard helicopter. The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter assigned to Air Station Sitka crashed earlier this month off La Push, Wash., killing three crewmen. "Alaska has more coastline than any other state in the nation. The loss of a helicopter from Air Station Sitka reduces the ability of the Coast Guard to respond to maritime … Continue Reading


07.22.10

Alaska Public Radio Network: Tribal Law Legislation Takes Big Step

A new law aimed at improving justice and safety for Alaska Natives and Native Americans is awaiting President Obama's signature. The Tribal Law and Order Act won bi-partisan support, and passed the US House on Wednesday. The President says he will sign it, and in a written statement called it "an important step" to help the federal government better address public safety challenges confronting tribal communities. It mostly relates to Reservation lands and Indian Country outside Alaska, but Sen… Continue Reading


07.21.10

Tundra Drums: Murkowski: Congress passes law to enhance rural policing

The Tribal Law and Order Act is on its way to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature following House passage of the legislation today, according to a statement from Sen. Lisa Murkowksi. The bill, which passed the Senate last month, would improve law enforcement and the justice system on Indian reservations in the Lower 48. Murkowski, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, secured several provisions in the bill that would address the lack of law enforcement… Continue Reading


07.18.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski slams Democrats for excessive spending

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski criticized Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee last week for not doing more to cut federal spending. Democrats on the appropriations committee, which Murkowski sits on, passed a $14 billion budget cut, less than the $20 billion cut proposed by Republicans. That $20 billion cut would have frozen discretionary spending at last year's levels, the senator said. "Next year's deficit is going to be in the range of $1.4 trillion. It took all the presidents… Continue Reading


07.17.10

Anchorage Daily News: Washing off boat deck still OK

KODIAK -- Fishermen and other boaters can rest easier knowing they won't need a federal permit to hose off their decks. A bill that just passed the Senate extends the moratoria on discharge permit requirements for commercial and charter fishing vessels beyond the July 31 deadline. "Say you're a sport fishing guide and you've taken your clients out, gotten a few halibut and you come in and hose off the deck. That would be a reportable discharge. They are talking about deck runoff, bilge water, … Continue Reading


07.15.10

KTUU (NBC): Alaska's U.S. senators split on financial reform vote

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's U.S. senators were split on Thursday's vote for financial reform. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 60 to 39. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was a no vote, while Sen. Mark Begich voted yes on the legislation. The 2,300-page document is expected to end the concept of banks being too big to fail, and adds new protections for millions of consumers. Murkowski says the legislation isn't what Alaskans expect from Wall Street reform. "Like the recent overhauls of the health… Continue Reading


07.15.10

KTUU (NBC): Murkowski, Begich remember Maurice 'Mo' Bailey

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich are remembering Maurice "Mo" Bailey, an advocate for Alaskan veterans who passed away Tuesday evening after a battle with leukemia. Bailey enlisted in the army at the age of 17, and served for 20 years. He decided to stay in Alaska and founded the Veterans Aviation Outreach. Murkowski says Bailey never gave up his fight to obtain the Veterans Administration benefits he and others earned through their service. "Just maybe Mo's … Continue Reading


07.15.10

Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Valley mourns loss of veterans advocate

WASILLA - Maurice Bailey never quit on life or on Alaska veterans. From the time he forged his father's signature on the consent form to join the Army at age 17 until his death on Tuesday, Bailey was a passionate patriot and advocate for veterans of all eras. For the last two years of his life, Bailey lived every day like it could be his last following a devastating diagnosis. He had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and his survival was estimated at 12 months on the outside. In an interview with … Continue Reading


07.14.10

Alaska Dispatch: Alaska’s senators oppose EPA’s proposed ban on avgas

has met with opposition from Alaska's congressional delegation. The agency has waged a war against lead ingredients in many substances over the past 30 years. Its newest target, leaded aviation gas, fuels planes that have piston engines. In an attempt to move toward unleaded aviation gas, the EPA plans on banning or increasing regulation of leaded gas used in piston engine aircraft. Planes using leaded aviation gas emit neurotoxins that interfere with brain development in children, according t… Continue Reading


07.12.10

Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski, Parnell to attend Coast Guard memorial

SITKA -- Gov. Sean Parnell and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski plan to attend the memorial for the Coast Guard crew whose helicopter crashed off the Washington coast last week. Today's memorial is being held in Sitka, the Southeast Alaska community where the crew was based. Coast Guard officials, including the commandant, Adm. Robert J. Papp, also are expected to attend. The crew was returning home from Astoria, Ore., when the helicopter crashed off La Push, Wash.; there was one survivor. Killed wer… Continue Reading


07.03.10

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski voices opposition to Elena Kagan for Supreme Court justice

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is one of the first senators to say she will oppose Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination. In a statement released to media outlets Friday, Murkowski, a Republican, commended Kagan's teaching ability, but said that Kagan's overall responses to the questions senators have posed to her in the past week were "clever and graceful but not terribly revealing and in many cases evasive." Murkowski, who opposed Kagan's nomination for the solicitor general position she n… Continue Reading


07.02.10

The Associated Press: GOP leader, Murkowski oppose Kagan nomination

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan drew opposition Friday from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and two members of the GOP rank and file, including Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, raising the prospect of a confirmation largely along party lines. "The American people expect a justice who will impartially apply the law, not one who will be a rubberstamp for the Obama administration or any other administration," McConnell said in a written statement one day after Kagan, 50, wrappe… Continue Reading


07.02.10

KCAW Radio (Sitka): Sealaska lands bill changes made public

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski released changes to her Sealaska lands-selection legislation Thursday (July 1st). They shift some timber harvest areas away from northern Prince of Wales Island. And they remove 17 of 46 Native Futures Sites, which are slated for ecotourism, transportation and energy development. The revised bill is based on amendments that have been circulating among interest groups for weeks. But officials say more changes may be on the way. Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon says… Continue Reading

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