Articles & Op-eds


Fox News: Alaska Republicans back bill to prevent ObamaCare meltdown in state

by Adam Shaw

Alaska Republicans are joining with Democrats in taking drastic action to save the state's ObamaCare insurance system from spiraling into crisis, as all but one insurer flee the state and health care costs soar. While state Republicans remain largely opposed to the health care law, the GOP-dominated legislature passed a bill earlier this month that aims to prevent massive premium hikes and keep the ObamaCare system afloat for the thousands of residents already in the system. The measure was int… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Congress takes a big step toward funding a new $1 billion Arctic icebreaker

by Erica Martinson

WASHINGTON - Alaska moved significantly closer to seeing a new Arctic icebreaker Tuesday as a Senate appropriations subcommittee added $1 billion to a bipartisan funding bill for a Navy-built ship. The move marks a major step forward in a yearslong campaign by Alaska lawmakers and others who say the U.S. needs to mind its dwindling Arctic infrastructure, particularly as a melting ice cap makes way for increased commercial shipping traffic and Russian military activity raises national security c… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: An energy bill for Alaska

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

In late April, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a major energy bill for the first time in almost a decade. The Energy Policy Modernization Act is a broad rewrite of our increasingly outdated policies in this area. As you might expect, it reflects extensive input from Alaskans and contains dozens of provisions that will provide lasting benefits for our state. The first thing to say about this bill is: it's about time. The last time the Senate passed a significant energy bill was in 2007. … Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Moda's exit from Alaska insurance market reflects what ails Affordable Care Act

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Alaskans have seen time and time again the negative impacts the Affordable Care Act is having on our state. I have shared the stories of hard-working Alaskans who are paying over $2,000 per month for the cheapest bronze plan available on the exchange. I have spoken on the Senate floor about how the ACA has been called the "single greatest threat" to quality public education, because school districts face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines under the Cadillac Tax. And I have relayed stories… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Energy bill home stretch: Sen. Murkowski’s legislation to modernize energy policy for Alaska, U.S.

by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Editorial

Senate passage of the first comprehensive federal energy bill in a decade took months of negotiating, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski can attest to the fact that it was worth the fight. The landmark legislation, which Sen. Murkowski authored, will make a host of needed changes to U.S. energy policy, emphasizing renewable energy sources and efficiency while also cleaning up permitting for issues related to fossil fuels. The bill's final hurdle before heading to President Barack Obama for final passage in… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski's energy bill passes Senate after months of delays

by Erica Martinson

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski scored a big win Wednesday when the Senate passed her energy bill -- the first in nearly a decade -- loaded with provisions to bolster renewable energy, clear the way for natural gas out of Alaska and even rename some federal land for a former Alaska governor. Last year Murkowski set up camp on the centerline, pledging to craft a bipartisan energy bill as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with help from the committee's ranking member, Sen. Ma… Continue Reading


KUCB: Murkowski Pushes For King Cove Road

by Zoe Sobel

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski continues to push for reliable emergency medical transportation to King Cove. Murkowski says the only solution for the community of 900 is an 11 mile gravel road connecting King Cove to Cold Bay through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. In a hearing Thursday morning she says, "it is time to ensure that King Cove finally has reliable access to emergency medical transportation -- something that virtually every other American takes for granted." Audubon Alaska sup… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: King Cove and Murkowski grumble over federal report on refuge road alternatives

by Erica Martinson

WASHINGTON -- Advocates for an emergency medical road out of King Cove took aim at the U.S. Interior Department this week for essentially burying a $100,000 study on alternatives to allowing a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. The report is the latest turn in a decadeslong fight between the city of King Cove and the federal government over a proposed gravel road that would cut a 10-mile path through the refuge. Residents say the road is needed for medical evacuations from the r… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski didn't have to do any pushups to be named one of fittest US senators

by Erica Martinson

WASHINGTON -- A fitness website has named Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski one of the "top 10 fittest senators," noting her active lifestyle and interest in healthy foods. The list, posted this month by the website Health Fitness Revolution, isn't exactly scientific but a breakdown based on "interviews, Internet, library, industry literature" and the health and fitness knowledge of the site's founder, Samir Becic. Murkowski and other senators on the list "deserve recognition because they are great … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski holds oil and gas development panel in Fairbanks

by Weston Morrow

FAIRBANKS - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski convened a panel of oil and gas industry stakeholders in Fairbanks on Monday to share solutions for increased economic growth in Alaska. Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, convened the panel as a field hearing of the committee at the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center, though she was the only senator present. Several dozen community members attended the hearing, however, many of whom organized in front of the complex bef… Continue Reading


KTVF: Murkowski Presses For Better VA Care In Alaska

by jrlewis

Alaska U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski continued to press the leadership of the Department of Veterans' Affairs over issues with the current VA healthcare system in Alaska. Following up on her discussions about the failings of the "Choice Card" Program in Alaska, she questioned VA Secretary Robert McDonald on the lessons learned from his August 2015 visit to the state, whether or not he understands the unique challenges veterans in Alaska face, and his plans to fix those issues. Secretary McDonald… Continue Reading


E&E News: Murkowski, Tidwell spar over Tongass old-growth logging plan

by Scott Streater

A Forest Service draft plan to end old-growth logging at Alaska's Tongass National Forest sparked several tense exchanges yesterday between the agency's head and Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, asked Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to hold off on advancing the plan to move from old-growth to new-growth logging in Tongass until completing a detailed inventory to ensure there is actually enough young-growth timber… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: Murkowski: Where’s that Arctic port?

by Liz Ruskin

When President Obama was in Alaska last year, he said he wanted to advance plans for a deepwater port in the Alaskan Arctic, possibly in Nome. Today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski followed up on that with the head of the Army Corps of Engineers. "Given the President's support for this, why have we not included construction funding going forward in this next fiscal year?"Murkowski asked. The assistant Army secretary for the Corps, Jo-Ellen Darcy, says her agency and the state of Alaska put the port f… Continue Reading


KTVA: BLM announces major cleanup of ‘legacy wells’

by By Shannon Ballard

ANCHORAGE - The federal government has already spent more than $100 million cleaning up abandoned wells in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, but now there's a new push to finally get the job done, and project managers with the Bureau of Land Management say it's time to spend even more. The legacy wells sit 200 miles above the Arctic Circle. There are 136 of them, drilled between 1944 and 1982 by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Geological Survey to determine what resources are in the area. The problem… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: Murkowski field hearing highlights rural Alaska’s unique energy issues, solutions

by Rachel Waldholz

When Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski chose Bethel for a field hearing of the Senate Energy Committee, which she chairs, she had some specific points to make. Murkowski brought five senators and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to the YK Delta on Monday to show her colleagues how sky-high energy costs can cripple economic development and even serve as a barrier to the installation of water and sewer systems. But, she also hoped to highlight what the rest of the U.S. can learn from rural Alaska.… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: U.S. senators, top energy official travel to tiny Alaska village, hold Bethel hearing

by Lisa Demer

BETHEL - A hefty contingent of six U.S. senators, the U.S. energy secretary, Gov. Bill Walker and others traveled Monday in a convoy of more than a dozen vehicles on the frozen Kuskokwim River to the village of Oscarville, population 50. They got an up-close look at a community with big needs and solutions in the works. The field trip in Southwestern Alaska came on a day capped by a Bethel field hearing on energy, an issue woven into almost every aspect of life, from the fuel that powers skiffs… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: A chance for bipartisan progress: Omnibus energy bill could be first in almost a decade if Senate impasse ends

by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial

News-Miner opinion: Since becoming chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Sen. Lisa Murkowski hasn't been sitting on her hands. In addition to routine legislation and a host of bills on priorities of the day, she has spent much time crafting a gargantuan omnibus energy bill that, if passed, would be the first such successful legislation in almost a decade. As it stands now, the bill is in a holding pattern after Michigan senators blocked it due to a lack of action on… Continue Reading


Christian Science Monitor: This is how it looks when Congress gets along

by Francine Kiefer

WASHINGTON - Following last year's passage of bipartisan highway and education bills, the United States Senate is taking up another broad piece of legislation - this time on energy - in a further sign that Republicans and Democrats can work together, even in an election year. Congress hasn't passed broad-based energy legislation since 2007. America's energy situation has drastically changed since then, but partisan politics and election-year roadblocks have sidelined past attempts to adjust US … Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Every Student Succeeds Act Contains Needed Reforms Good for Alaskans

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

Fixing the flawed No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has been years in the making. Recently, we've reached a major milestone. On Thursday, the president signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, referred to as "ESSA." Congress passed NCLB in 2001, the year before I came to the U.S. Senate. It was intended to help states identify and focus on the educational disparities among students and take steps to improve schools that did not serve students well. That was necessary. Despite its obvious f… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Advancing Alaska’s LNG Project

I was reminded recently, while viewing a short film produced by the Consumer Energy Alliance, of the marvel that is our Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). I didn't marvel at the engineering; TAPS has delivered oil safely through some of the most challenging terrain and hostile conditions on earth. Nor did I reflect on its importance to our national energy security; Alaska still provides a vital source of oil to the West Coast where alternatives are limited by the lack of infrastructure from th… Continue Reading

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