Articles & Op-eds

04.29.09

WA, Alaska lawmakers urge more spending on ferries

by Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers from Washington state and Alaska are teaming up to push for a dramatic increase in federal spending on ferry systems nationwide. A bill introduced Wednesday by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would nearly triple ferry spending, to $200 million a year. Washington state has the largest ferry system in the country, with over 25 million riders a year. Alaska's Marine Highway system serves 30 communities along routes totaling more than 3,000 miles… Continue Reading


04.28.09

Bingaman, Murkowski Seek To Establish Energy Loan Agency

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman and ranking member Lisa Murkowski expect to introduce legislation this week to create a Clean Energy Deployment Administration that will oversee loan guarantees and direct loans for new technology in the Energy Department, Bingaman said today. The legislation would transfer authority of the existing loan guarantee program created in 2005 energy legislation to the proposed office. The existing program has been criticized because it has no… Continue Reading


04.24.09

Senators Question Cost of New Police Radios

by Emily Yehle

Senate appropriators questioned the cost of a new radio system for the Capitol Police on Thursday, promising to revisit the issue before Congress approves a spending provision that includes about $71 million for the project. "To me, $71 million just seems way out of line," Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse. "That just seems very, very expensive. I'd like to look at the requirements you have in mind." The hearing held by the Senate Appropriations Subcommit… Continue Reading


04.22.09

Murkowski Has Some Issues; But Pledges GOP Cooperation

by Otto Kreisher

Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski raised concerns Tuesday about proposals from the panel's chairman that would require utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Murkowski also insisted that nuclear energy should be included in the definition of renewable energy sources, challenging its exclusion from the "green energy" list offered by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman. At the same time, Murkows… Continue Reading


04.21.09

Sen. Murkowski: Outlook for Passing Legislation Is Positive

by Sen. Lisa Murkowski

There is a strong impetus in Congress and across America to reshape our energy landscape. Prospects for passing a comprehensive energy bill are good, if Congress can avoid overreaching. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has been working diligently on a bipartisan bill since the beginning of the 111th Congress and held the first of several planned markups at the end of March. We started with issues where there's broad consensus - energy efficiency, research and development an… Continue Reading


04.21.09

Op-Ed: Murkowski: Outlook for Passing Legislation Is Positive

There is a strong impetus in Congress and across America to reshape our energy landscape. Prospects for passing a comprehensive energy bill are good, if Congress can avoid overreaching. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has been working diligently on a bipartisan bill since the beginning of the 111th Congress and held the first of several planned markups at the end of March. We started with issues where there's broad consensus - energy efficiency, research and development and… Continue Reading


04.19.09

Murkowski unveils ANWR drilling plan to Legislature

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced Tuesday she will soon author a bill to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with the help of new technology. The announcement came during her address to a joint session of the state Legislature. "I intend to introduce legislation that will enable the oil reserves beneath ANWR to be explored and produced through directional drilling from locations outside the exterior boundaries of the refuge," Murkowski said. … Continue Reading


04.19.09

Salazar hears Alaska perspectives on offshore oil and gas development

by Alan Bailey

Hailed by the Resource Development Council as "perhaps the most important public hearing to be held in Alaska in years," preceded by a "march for jobs" involving a chanting assortment of helmet-wearing and placard-waving oil industry personnel, and attended by people from all sectors of the community, including rural villagers, state politicians, oil workers and environmental activists, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's outer continental shelf meeting in Anchorage on April 14 captured all of the … Continue Reading


04.16.09

Senator Murkowski has lunch with the Ladies

by Rebecca George

FAIRBANKS - The Ladies That Lunch committee sponsors the event for Murkowski each year to give the senator a chance to speak informally with the Fairbanks community. Stimulus funds, climate change, natural gas and base closures were some of the topics she addressed during a lengthy question-and-answer session. "My criteria for the stimulus bill was whether or not it would be timely, targeted and temporary," she said. "… and I did not believe that it met that criteria." While s… Continue Reading


04.14.09

Going Her Own Way

by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON - Coming from oil-rich Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski could be expected to promote oil and gas development zealously and give short shrift to renewable wind and solar power. But Murkowski approaches energy with the same pragmatism that marks her general approach in the Senate. While championing the traditional fossil fuels so vital to her home state, Murkowski also embraces renewable energy and generally supports a cap on greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change. Murko… Continue Reading


04.09.09

Doctor says Sen. Murkowski expected to make full recovery from knee surgery

by Dermot Cole

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is on the mend and looking to visit Fairbanks next week, though she will probably be in a wheelchair or on crutches. The senator had knee surgery Tuesday in Anchorage to deal with injuries she suffered while skiing at Alyeska in March. We wish her a speedy recovery. Dr. Eli T. Powell, an Anchorage orthopedic surgeon who formerly commanded the Air Force Third Medical Group at Elmendorf Air Force Base, performed the operation. He said she is doing well and expected to m… Continue Reading


04.06.09

EDITORIAL: Bullet line

The so-called "bullet" line from the Brooks Range foothills to Southcentral may or may not be the best way to replace our region's dwindling supply of affordable natural gas. But skeptics of the project have been using a dubious claim to discredit this potentially appealing option, which would follow the Parks Highway south from Fairbanks. A bullet line will never get permission to follow the highway through Denali National Park, the skeptics claim. Environmentalists will never all… Continue Reading


04.05.09

Murkowski introduces bullet line bill

The bill, introduced Friday, would authorize the National Park Service to grant a right of way for construction of the so-called bullet line through Denali National Park. Although other routes are under consideration, one proposal would send the buried line along the Parks Highway for the roughly seven miles that the road passes through the park. Murkowski said the alternative would be to build the pipeline around the park through remote and currently undisturbed land. The line is… Continue Reading


04.05.09

Sen. Murkowski asks for U.S. volcano network

by Betty Mills

WASHINGTON - With her family trapped in Alaska by the eruptions of Mount Redoubt, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, took to the Senate floor this week to appeal for a stable source of funding for volcano research and monitoring. "Recently, there were some comments made about federal spending for volcano monitoring and the suggestion that this might be wasteful," she told the Senate. "I can assure you that monitoring volcanoes is critically important to the nation, and especially, to my home sta… Continue Reading


04.04.09

EDITORIAL: Explosive subject

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has the right approach to secure funding for volcano observations - make it part of a national program. Former Sen. Ted Stevens successfully earmarked money for many years to make the Alaska Volcano Observatory an effective early warning system and scientific enterprise. But it was never just about Alaska. So much national and international air traffic passes through Alaska airspace that up-to-date tracking of volcanic hazards should be a national priority. Beside… Continue Reading


03.31.09

Murkowski calls for national volcano monitoring

by Matthew Daly

As Alaska's Mount Redoubt sends a steady stream of ash skyward, the state's Republican senator is calling for a national volcano monitoring system to ensure early warnings of volcanic activity. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the Mount Redoubt eruptions, which have forced flight cancellations at Anchorage International Airport 100 miles away, underscore the need for more and better volcano observation. She also took a shot at fellow Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Arizona… Continue Reading


03.14.09

Ski accident does not deter Murkowski's rise

by Matthew Daly

Despite a serious fall in a skiing accident, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a woman on the rise. An accomplished skier, Murkowski tore two ligaments and cartilage in her left knee March 8 after tumbling more than 300 feet down Alaska's Mount Alyeska. The accident left the 51-year-old Republican temporarily confined to a wheelchair and crutches, but did not stop her from returning to Washington in time to vote the next day on a $410 billion spending package that included nearly $200 million fo… Continue Reading


02.27.09

Murkowski Op-Ed: Gun bill is going nowhere

by Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives reminds us that we must remain vigilant in the defense of our Second Amendment rights. Many in Fairbanks, and across the nation, have expressed great concern about the introduction of HR 45, The Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, and I would like to address these concerns. HR 45, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., would require any person owning a handgun or semiautomatic firearm to obtain a federal firearms… Continue Reading


02.27.09

Op-Ed: Gun bill is going nowhere

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives reminds us that we must remain vigilant in the defense of our Second Amendment rights. Many in Fairbanks, and across the nation, have expressed great concern about the introduction of HR 45, The Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, and I would like to address these concerns. HR 45, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., would require any person owning a handgun or semiautomatic firearm to obtain a federal firearms… Continue Reading


02.19.09

Murkowski proposes directional drilling in ANWR

by Anne Sutton

JUNEAU -- Environmental groups said they would fight any legislation that would let oil companies drill sideways from outside the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into its oil and gas reserves, predicting it would be "dead in the water" under the Obama administration. Their response came within hours of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's announcement Thursday that she planned to introduce a bill that would allow for use of a technology called directional drilling under the… Continue Reading

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