Articles & Op-eds

05.22.19

Utlity Drive: Murkowski questions need for renewables tax credits

by Robert Walton

Dive Brief: Phasing out the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for wind and solar generation could lead to "regional disparities" in adopting renewables and leave best available technologies behind, industry experts told the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday. Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, questioned whether the credits are still necessary as many renewable technologies are "standing on their own now." The solar credit begins… Continue Reading


05.22.19

Juneau Empire: OPINION: Sen. Murkowski leads bipartisan bill in support of rural, LGBTQ elders

by Julie Schmidt

This month, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, took a bold and admirable step on behalf of older Alaskans and elders around the nation by becoming an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Inclusive Aging Act. I am grateful for her leadership in introducing legislation that would help reduce isolation and improve much-needed access to sexual health care for older Americans. This is even more significant for people like me. I'm a 76-year-old lesbian, and the bill Murkowski introduced, along with … Continue Reading


05.22.19

Anchorage Daily News: OPINION: Funding child care strengthens Alaska

by Abbe Hensley

Across Alaska, parents, educators and early childhood education advocates are working hard to ensure our children receive high-quality care and education that supports their healthy development. And while all of us are doing our best to ensure Alaska's children have the programs and support they need to have the strongest start possible in life, a lack of resources constrains our ability to serve more families and enhance the quality of care our state's children receive. Thankfully, Congress pro… Continue Reading


05.22.19

Op-Ed: Anchorage Daily News: Spruce beetle outbreak will require all hands, all lands solutions

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Southcentral Alaska is experiencing a spruce bark beetle outbreak, the likes of which we have not seen since the late 1990s. Over the past two summers, the U.S. Forest Service documented 910,000 acres of spruce beetle infestation in the Susitna River Valley and on the Kenai Peninsula. The number of acres affected will most certainly increase after the next round of monitoring flyovers scheduled for this summer. The spruce beetle is a winged, quarter-inch size insect that is native to Alaska an… Continue Reading


05.21.19

Maritime Executives: New Study Reveals Maritime Sector's Impact in Pacific Northwest

by Marex

Just in time for National Maritime Day, the Transportation Institute and the National Maritime Partnership have released the results of a study showing the impact of the American domestic shipping industry on the Pacific Northwest economy. According to a new report prepared by leading consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Transportation Institute, U.S. domestic shipping is responsible for $2 billion in economic activity in Alaska and another $6 billion in Washington State. R… Continue Reading


05.21.19

Navajo-Hopi Observer: Reintroduction of Savanna’s Act gives hope to many in Indian country

Last week, a bipartisan group of congressional members reintroduced Savanna's Act, a bill that aims to clarify future responsibilities that law enforcement has in responding to missing and murdered indigenous people and increase communication between federal, state and tribal officials. Representatives Torres (D-CA), Newhouse (R-WA), and Haaland (D-NM), working in coordination with the offices of Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Cortez-Masto (D-NV), crafted this important legislation in order to co… Continue Reading


05.21.19

Fosters: OPINION: Another View: Keep competition for minerals from erupting into a conflict

by V.K. Mathur

Amid a growing need for materials deemed critically important in the production of a multitude of commercial products ranging from cell phones and laptops to flat televisions and batteries for electric vehicles, one of the enigmas is how the United States can ignore its growing dependence on imported minerals and metals. Our country is 100 percent import-reliant on 18 minerals and metals considered "critical" by the defense or interior departments. And more than 50 percent reliant on many more … Continue Reading


05.21.19

KFSK: Forest Service chief: agency auditing Alaska region timber program

by Joe Viechnicki

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service has responded to the Petersburg borough that the federal agency is conducting an audit of the timber program on national forest land in the Alaska Region. Vicki Christiansen's May 8th letter to borough mayor Mark Jensen apologizes for a delayed response. It also says the National Forest system's acting deputy chief Christopher French on April 20, 2018 requested a formal audit of the Alaska Region's timber program, including timber cruise and appraisals. Chri… Continue Reading


05.20.19

American Maritime Partnership: The Domestic Maritime Industry Creates 6,520 Jobs and $1.98 Billion of Economic Impact in the State of Alaska

The Alaska Federal Delegation joined the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the domestic maritime industry, to announce a 44 percent increase in jobs in the domestic maritime industry in Alaska. According to the findings of a new report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the Jones Act fuels a strong domestic maritime industry in Alaska and across the region. The industry employs more than 6,500 individuals, produces $1.98 billion… Continue Reading


05.20.19

National Law Review: Surprise Billing Comparison: What You Need to Know

The question is not if, but how: How will lawmakers tackle surprise billing? What started out as question for a small Senate working group in 2018 has turned into one of the major health priorities of both parties. Over the past year, discussion drafts were released, bills were introduced, and lawmakers sought feedback from stakeholders in an effort to produce bipartisan comprehensive legislation. In the last three days, two major bills have emerged (and more are on the way): On May 14, 2019, R… Continue Reading


05.19.19

Richmond Times-Dispatch: OPINION: David Banks column: Make smart changes to the General Mining Law

by David Banks

Clamp a royalty on minerals and metals mined on federal lands in the United States? Congress is considering doing so as part of an effort to radically change the General Mining Law. It would be a mistake that would penalize U.S. companies and workers, make worse our dependence on foreign sources of metals and minerals critical to the national defense, and hamper efforts to reduce carbon pollution. The most destructive effect of a bill introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) would be on U.S. … Continue Reading


05.17.19

Detroit Authority: Senators Look to Rally U.S. EV Material Production

by Joseph Szczesny

While the Trump administration - through the Environmental Protection Agency - continues to press for changes in fuel economy regulations that would to sideline efforts to put more EVs on the road across the United States, the U.S. Congress is getting nervous about China's fast moving electric-car effort. Both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate are voicing support for a national electric car supply chain policy in the United States Senate, according to a report from Reuters. The Sena… Continue Reading


05.17.19

Becker's Hospital Review: Senators release plan to end surprise medical bills with arbitration: 8 things to know

by Kelly Gooch

A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled legislation to end surprise medical bills. Eight things to know: 1. Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Bill Cassidy, R-La., and a bipartisan group of senators introduced the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act May 16. Ms. Hassan and Mr. Cassidy, along with Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Todd Young, R-Ind., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Tom Carper, D-Del., announced the introduction of the bill. 2. The legislation would prohibit surprise billing for emergency … Continue Reading


05.17.19

KITV4: Schatz introduces legislature to help Defense Dept. take on child pornography

U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) re-introduced bipartisan legislation that would help the Pentagon stop the use of the Defense Department's network to possess, procure and even produce child pornography. The measure, End National Defense (END) Network Abuse Act is said to give military leaders tools needed to get rid of child pornography on DoD's network, go after offenders and protect children. "The widespread abuse of the Department of Defense's network to … Continue Reading


05.17.19

KTUU: Air Force plan will permanently station six more F-22 fighter jets at JBER

by Laura Holman

The Air Force has released a plan to permanently station six additional F-22 fighter jets at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson. The jets were previously based at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, but moved to JBER after Tyndall was severely damaged during hurricane Michael. Today, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, applauded the Air Force on the potential plan. "We have long advocated for our military in Alaska, including the importance of our … Continue Reading


05.17.19

Arctic Today: Will the Arctic Council begin addressing national security?

by Melody Schreiber

This year's Arctic Council ministerial meeting showcased increasingly complicated issues in the region - from national security to climate change and more - and the subsequently complex discussions around them. In its aftermath, attendees and observers are debating where the organization will go from here, and whether its mandates - particularly the exclusion of national security issues - will change. Although it's unlikely the council will take on defense issues, observers say, conversations a… Continue Reading


05.15.19

E&E News: Murkowski hopes it's 'finally the year' for minerals bill

by Dylan Brown

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski refuses to give up on passing legislation to encourage the domestic extraction of minerals for electric vehicles and other technologies. The Alaska Republican held a seventh hearing on her "American Mineral Security Act," S. 1317, making the case once again that reliance on foreign minerals is the nation's "Achilles' heel" as the Trump administration levies more tariffs on China. "I hope that this is finally the year that Congress w… Continue Reading


05.14.19

Indian Country Today: Deb Haaland announces U.S. House version of Savanna’s Act and addresses efforts for MMIW

by Vincent Schilling

Haaland: 'Congress has never had a voice like mine, a Native American woman who sees the blind spots that have existed for far too long' On a media conference call Tuesday morning, Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01) announced the U.S. House version of Savanna's Act 2019, a bill that will supplement the Senate bill introduced by Lisa Murkowski in January of this year. As previously reported on by Indian Country Today, Savanna's Act will combat the epidemic of murdered and missing Native women and girls b… Continue Reading


05.14.19

KTUU: Lawmakers re-introducing legislation that calls for DOJ review of Indian Country probes

Federal lawmakers are re-introducing legislation that calls for the Justice Department to review how law enforcement agencies respond to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans. The legislation is named Savanna's Act for 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, whose body was found in a North Dakota river in 2017. U.S. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, introduced the legislation in the Senate earlier this year. It was re-introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House. It also seeks to expand tribes' acce… Continue Reading


05.14.19

Reuters: U.S. faces hurdles in push to build electric vehicle supply chain

by Ernest Scheyder

The United States faces stiff challenges as it moves to create its own electric vehicle supply chain, industry analysts say, with the extent of the country's metal reserves largely unknown and only a few facilities to process minerals and produce batteries. Legislation making its way through the U.S. Congress aims to help offset those gaps, but China remains the global EV sector leader, a dominance seen by some as difficult to supplant. "China has a huge head start," said Gavin Montgomery, a b… Continue Reading

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