Articles & Op-eds


Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski, King Seek to Enlist Other Senators in an Arctic Caucus

by By Yereth Rosen

Coming soon to the U.S. Capitol is a new group of lawmakers: the Senate Arctic Caucus. As of Tuesday, the group was just a nucleus of two -- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who is part of the Senate's Democratic minority. But this week, Murkowski said, she and King are formally inviting other senators to join. "What I am trying to do is raise awareness about all things Arctic. I'm trying to allow members to see and appreciate that the Arctic… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Keystone XL - Good for Alaska

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

I understand that some Alaskans are wondering how the Keystone XL pipeline is relevant to Alaska. It's a fair question that I believe deserves an answer. Alaska has a unique history with large-scale infrastructure projects, including energy projects of great magnitude. Prudhoe Bay is a world-class oil field and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is a true modern marvel. But Alaskans are also a little nervous right now. Even The New York Times has described a sense of "economic anxiety" that hang… Continue Reading


APRN: Small Businesses Struggle To Comply With Health Insurance Requirement

by By Annie Feidt

Starting this month, businesses in Alaska with more than 100 full time workers have to provide health insurance. And under the Affordable Care Act "full time" is any employee who works more than 30 hours a week. Senator Lisa Murkowski is sponsoring legislation that would change that threshold to 40 hours. Many restaurants owners in Anchorage are watching the legislation closely. It just after the lunch rush at Crossbar in midtown Anchorage and Sous Chef Roy Martinez is grilling steak, plating f… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Alaska Beer Week Celebrates Alaska Small Business

Alaskans like to work hard and play hard -- and sometimes there is a market waiting to be tapped where the two overlap. Case in point, Alaska's thriving small brewing scene: a great example of Alaskan small business success. One of the little known facts about our state's economic picture is that we currently have 22 licensed breweries making high-quality craft beer, from Sitka to Silver Gulch, and I understand there are another eight in the works to be built and developed -- even in Hoonah! In… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: New Congress Brings New Hope for Alaska

For the first time in eight years, Republicans control both chambers of Congress. While our eight-vote majority in the Senate is not enough to unilaterally overcome filibusters or presidential vetoes, it is enough to restore regular order and actual debate on important issues. The changes we are bringing to the Senate - including longer work weeks and an open amendment process - will create opportunities for bipartisan coalitions to promote policies that strengthen Alaska and our nation.In this… Continue Reading


Roll Call: Murkowski’s Energy Manifesto Hiding in Plain Sight

by By Geof Koss

There's plenty of speculation about what Republicans will do on energy in the 114th Congress, and while a lot of details remain to be sorted out, the House and Senate chairs with primary jurisdiction have dropped plenty of hints about their thinking. Incoming Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has been hiding her agenda in plain sight since February 2013, when she unveiled Energy 2020: a Vision for America's Energy Future. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, … Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Embrace Challenges, Rewards of Being an Arctic Nation

As Alaskans and the rest of America emerge from their election bunkers and turn on their televisions again, we are faced with another pressing issue of lasting importance: making the Arctic a national and international priority in a manner that benefits those who live in the far north. Five months from now, in April 2015, the United States will assume the chair of the Arctic Council, the intergovernmental forum among the eight nations with territory inside the Arctic Circle and that includes ac… Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Murkowski Singles Out Mat-Su Veteran

by By Andrew Wellner

As the U.S. Senate introduced legislation Sen. Lisa Murkowski co-sponsored to try and combat the problem of suicide among veterans Monday, she mentioned one Valley veteran by name. "Today I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation with a number of my Senate colleagues to bolster America's efforts to improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans. It's named after Clay Hunt - a Marine who fought in Afghanistan - but it could be named after R.K. Butts or any of our Alaska-ba… Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Editorial: Health Care a Daily Thank-You to Vets

Every year at about this time we write a pretty similar editorial thanking the service men and women among us for their time spent protecting this country. This year, we have quite a bit more to say. That's because this year we wrote a series of stories about problems at our local Veterans Administration clinic. The clinic, on Seward Meridian Parkway, has had more trouble than even an Alaskan facility should in recruiting and keeping doctors. There has not been a doctor there since August. Th… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: In the Tale of Two Arctics, Alaska is Losing Out

by By Mia Bennett

Over 1,400 delegates from 34 countries listened to his remarks. Announcing the dates for the next three Arctic Circle meetings, he expressed, "Arctic Circle will transform Reykjavik into a dynamic Arctic village every October for years to come." Reykjavik epitomizes the "magnificent" and cosmopolitan Arctic, but that only represents one part of the North. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, able to attend in person this year thanks to the lack of a government shutdown, painted a different pi… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Evidence Supports ‘No’ Vote on Marijuana

by By Sen. Lisa Murkowski

On Nov. 4, Alaskans will consider Ballot Measure 2, an initiative to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes. And those who support that commercial trade are investing heavily in hoping you will vote "yes." Make no mistake about it, marijuana - like tobacco and alcohol - is big business. Like alcohol and tobacco, the costs of marijuana to public health, public safety, our youth and lost productivity are similarly high. It's not surprising that Outside investors would r… Continue Reading


The Hill: Murkowski Questions Value of Icebreaker Repairs

by By Ramsey Cox

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she isn't convinced refurbishing one of only two polar icebreakers is a smart federal investment. Murkowski visited the Polar Sea, which is stationed in Seattle. The ship was commissioned in 1977 and has recently needed major repairs. "After seeing the Polar Sea firsthand, I am even more concerned with the status of the U.S. icebreaking fleet. This vessel was a workhorse for decades but is far from being returned to active duty," Murkowski said Tuesday. "I… Continue Reading


APRN: 50th Annual AVCP Convention Kicks Off in Bethel

by By Daysha Eaton

Leaders from around the state gathered in Bethel Tuesday for the 50th Annual Association of Village Council Presidents Convention. Dignitaries and political leaders form across the state attended. The Association of Village Council Presidents Convention opened at the cultural center in Bethel Tuesday. Julie Kitka, President of the Alaska Federation of Natives was the keynote speaker. She reported on two major wins in the courts for Alaska Natives this year, highlighting a federal judge's order… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Alaskans Deserve a Fix for Obamacare

by By Sen. Lisa Murkowski

It has now been more than four years since then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi explained to Americans why she had to push the health care reform bill through in such a rush: "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill ... and get away from the fog." Now it is 2014, the fog is lifting, and we are watching the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) fall apart under its own weight, and contradictory legal interpretations. The Obama administration has now unilaterally delayed or changed over 3… Continue Reading


CQ Weekly: Russia's Arctic Grab

by By Megan Scully, CQ Staff

President Barack Obama has described the Arctic as "peaceful, stable and free of conflict." Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls the icy region a "zone of peace." White House analysts and government agencies have put the odds of a military clash in the Arctic about as high as war on the moon. But heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow threaten to upend an era of Arctic collaboration and cooperation. Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea has already begun shifting the di… Continue Reading


KTNA 88.9 FM: FDA Considers Backing Off New Spent Grain Regs

A new change in a proposed FDA regulation could mean good news for farmers in the Upper Valley. The regulation in question regards controls for animal feed. The original proposal would have made it more costly for brewers to sell or donate spent grain to farmers across the country. A press release from Senator Lisa Murkowski's office on Monday says that the FDA is now considering exempting brewers, and other businesses that are already licensed to produce food for humans, from the new animal … Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Editorial: In Search of Solutions to VA Staffing

Would it be too bold of us to say that perhaps the Veterans Administration could solve the issue of how to provide care to Valley veterans without its meager clinic in Mat-Su? We aren't advocating for its closure. But we do appreciate the out-of-the-box work around that is serving VA patients during this time when the clinic is staffed with just one nurse practitioner. A press release arrived today saying the VA will increase by $25,000 to $35,000 what it pays in-coming doctors and dentists. W… Continue Reading


OP-ED: Standing Up for Every Child

The statistics sound like they come from another county. A one in five chance of committing suicide, a one in ten chance of being abused, twice as likely to be placed in foster care, and a one in three chance of living in poverty. But these are the odds, right here, in the United States for Native American children living in North Dakota, Alaska, Oklahoma, California, and across the country today. Most Americans are vaguely aware of the problems confronting Native Americans, particularly on … Continue Reading


A good salmon flip-flop

Changes in government policy concerning seafood aren't always welcomed in Alaska, but a change noted by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Monday is good news indeed for Alaska's fishing industry. The General Services Administration has refused, upon review of their policies, to allow non-governmental organizations that "certify" sustainable fishing practices to dictate the sources of fish the federal government purchases, according to a release from Murkowski's office. The fact is, third party "cert… Continue Reading


Murkowski honored by NRECA

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has presented Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, with a distinguished service award for her leadership in support for rural electrification. "Senator Murkowski is a true friend of electric cooperatives and a leader on energy issues," said Jo Emerson, chief executive officer of NRECA, who presented the award to Murkowski on Aug. 29. "Her bipartisan approach to solving some of our country's most difficult problems offers a bright spot in our nation'… Continue Reading

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