Articles & Op-eds


Alaska Public Media: Four decisions in three weeks: How Trump is transforming Alaska

by Elizabeth Harball

While many Alaskans might have been busy with Christmas plans or ringing in the New Year, some of the state's biggest resource battles reached turning points. In total, there were four big developments since mid-December, largely thanks to the Trump administration. If you didn't catch them all, here's a quick review: No. 1 - Congress approves drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Most Alaskans probably caught the biggest news story on the list, because it's a doozy: On Dec. 20, Pres… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: OPINION: Let’s not be our own worst enemy in developing ANWR

by Curtis Thayer

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our congressional delegation Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young. They delivered the ultimate Christmas gift to Alaska, the ability to open the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for safe and environmentally responsible oil exploration. ANWR has been a 37-year, uphill battle, eventually passed by Congress only to be vetoed by President Clinton in 1995. Now that Congress and President Trump have finally approved ANWR, A… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Trump administration puts Arctic offshore lease sales back on the table

by Alex DeMarban

The Trump administration moved Thursday to reopen vast territory in the Arctic Ocean and other U.S. waters to drilling by oil companies, launching a draft plan that could lead to a giant rollback of steps taken by the Obama administration. The five-year proposed program for federal offshore waters, starting in 2019, calls for 19 of 47 lease sales to be offered off Alaska coasts over five years. The first lease sales under the program would be in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. The administratio… Continue Reading


ADN: ‘A historic moment’: How ANWR drilling was passed by Congress after decades of effort

by Alex DeMarban

Twelve years ago, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens experienced what he called the saddest day of his life, when he couldn't hammer a measure through the Senate to crack open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a career goal for the longtime Alaska senator who died in 2010. On Wednesday, the Alaska delegation got the job done. They sent legislation to President Donald Trump, calling for two lease sales within seven years in a coastal section of the 19-million-acre refuge. "This is… Continue Reading


KSRM: Sun Shines On Arctic Coastal Plain

by Dorene Lorenz

Senator Lisa Murkowski R-AK: "This is a very historic day of course, but it's also…winter solstice…the shortest day, the darkest day…for us in Alaska we have had some pretty dark days recently." Love her for working across the aisle or hate her for being a RHINO, no one can take away this magic moment from Senator Lisa Murkowski. It's a message Alaska's Congressional Delegation has dreamed about delivering. Senator Lisa Murkowski R-AK: "With passage finally, almost 40 year… Continue Reading


LETTER: Commend Murkowski for clean energy priority

by Heather Reams

To the editor: Sen. Lisa Murkowski can always be counted on when it comes to commonsense clean energy policies. In fact, she recently called for a broad, bipartisan energy bill to be passed in early 2018. Hopefully, such a bill will include the renewal of the "orphaned" tax credits for renewable energy that were left out of the final tax reform bill. For now, Sen. Murkowski should be commended for making sure her colleagues on the tax reform conference committee understood that they must ma… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: EDITORIAL: Let’s end 2017 on a high note

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Health care dominated the headlines this summer and although the cameras turned off and the media largely tuned out after the end of the fiscal year, my colleagues and I kept working. Under the leadership of Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, those of us on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) held hearings where governors, providers and stakeholders came together to talk about what was broken in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to provide ideas … Continue Reading


KTVA: Murkowski: Passage of ANWR drilling ‘a big day for Alaska’

by Chris Klint

Alaska's congressional delegation hailed Wednesday's historic passage of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, attached to a sweeping GOP tax-reform bill sent by a House vote to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, as well as Rep. Don Young, spoke with reporters minutes after the House's 224-201 Wednesday vote resolved a snag from its initial passage of the bill Tuesday evening. The Senate quickly passed it as well later that night. … Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Murkowski introduces bill to study ocean acidification

by Kevin Gullufsen

Warm water changes Ph of oceans, spurring crab dieoff and hurting salmon prey Global warming is causing ocean water to become less like baking soda and more like milk, chemically speaking. It's a pHenomena called ocean acidification (OA) and it could have damaging effects for marine life. A bill announced week by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski seeks to study the effects OA would have on coastal communities. The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2017 would direct the National Oceanic an… Continue Reading


Alaska Journal of Commerce: Tax overhaul, ANWR heads to Trump’s desk

by Elwood Brehmer

When President Donald Trump signs the federal tax overhaul into law the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be open to the oil industry. Most Alaskans are happy about it, some aren't. In the Lower 48 the public seems more split on the issue, if not slightly against it. After 37 years of debate, what more is there to say? The members of Alaska's congressional delegation, who got the last words on ANWR in Congress when the tax bill passed, wanted to add a little more in a … Continue Reading


CNN: For Murkowski, the fight to open up ANWR was generations in the making

by Ashley Killough

Washington (CNN)Sen. Lisa Murkowski wasn't up for re-election on November 4, 2014, but she still scored a personal victory that night. With Republicans taking control of the Senate, she effectively became the next chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. According to High Country News at the time, Murkowski hoisted a chair over her head at an election party in Anchorage and declared to the crowd: "I am the chairmaaaaaan!" Landing that position, followe… Continue Reading


OPINON: Historic Opportunities for Alaska in Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

This holiday season, Alaskans can have a renewed sense of hope for good jobs, larger paychecks, stronger growth, and enduring prosperity. The reason why is today's passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which includes two historic opportunities for our state. The first - and perhaps most unexpected, at the start of this year - is the opening of the 1002 Area within the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Set aside by Congress in 1980, Alaskans never gave up on its incr… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Young says Arctic drilling is priority from tax bill; Murkowski wants quality

by James Brooks

Rep. Don Young is clear about what he wants from the Republican tax legislation being debated in Congress. "ANWR's the No. 1 thing," he told reporters during a press call last week. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she wants to see good legislation. "I want a good tax bill. I want a tax bill that really does provide for a level of equity and fairness and simplicity," she said Monday. Young are both members of the House-Senate conference committee that will meet Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washingto… Continue Reading


KTUU: Senator Murkowski on GOP Tax Plan

by Samantha Angaiak

ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - Now that both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the GOP tax plan, it's up to the conference committee to come up with a final package. Both Representative Don Young and Senator Lisa Murkowski have conference committee seats, which Murkowski said is good news for Alaskans. Sen. Murkowski said she's focused on protecting provisions included by the senate, such as accessing a small portion of the 1002 area in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, … Continue Reading


The Hill: Murkowski pushes back on ObamaCare 'scare tactics'

by Peter Sullivan

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is pushing back on Democratic attacks that she is undercutting ObamaCare, saying opponents are simply using "scare tactics." In a question-and-answer video posted on her YouTube page, Murkowski defended her vote for tax reform this month. Murkowski backed a bill that includes language repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate. "I think it's important that people really look to what is included in this bill when it relates to the Affordable Care Act and to get beyo… Continue Reading


AJOC EDITORIAL: GOP finally delivers on promise to Americans

by Andrew Jensen

Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain to development wouldn't be necessary if only we could power our economy with Democratic hysteria. The biggest outrage since the last outrage, of course, is the impending passage of a tax reform bill that should reach President Donald Trump's desk for his signature before the end of the year. In the days since the Dec. 2 Senate vote that cleared the way for a conference committee with the House, Democrats and their media sympathizers hav… Continue Reading


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

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