Articles & Op-eds


KCAW Radio (Sitka): Sealaska lands bill changes made public

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski released changes to her Sealaska lands-selection legislation Thursday (July 1st). They shift some timber harvest areas away from northern Prince of Wales Island. And they remove 17 of 46 Native Futures Sites, which are slated for ecotourism, transportation and energy development. The revised bill is based on amendments that have been circulating among interest groups for weeks. But officials say more changes may be on the way. Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon says… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Engine problems sideline Coast Guard icebreaker

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Engine problems will keep the Coast Guard's only functioning heavy icebreaker in port for the rest of the year. Inspections of the main diesel engines of the 32-year-old Polar Sea revealed premature excessive wear in 33 cylinder assemblies. A Coast Guard spokesman said repairs will take until at least January. Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, called the development disappointing. The vessel had been scheduled to support operatio… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Senators Debate Climate Change, Energy Legislation With President

Both of Alaska's Senators attended a White House meeting Tuesday on climate change and energy legislation. They were among a group of 23 Senators summoned by President Obama to the closed-door meeting to talk over policy. The White House called it a "constructive exchange" and said the President is still pushing for putting a price on carbon. The White House says that would make clean energy profitable, and hold polluting companies responsible. Begich said in advance of the meeting that he thin… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Alaska Native Staffers Keep Senators on Top of Everything

Alaska's Congressional offices in Washington have to be "in the know" on a huge range of topics and issues. And it's up to the staffers to keep their bosses on top of everything. In the offices of Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich, two young Alaska Native women have vital roles when it comes to Native issues. You can listen to APRN's audio here.… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Senate passes legislation to improve Alaska village law enforcement

FAIRBANKS - The Senate has passed legislation targeted at improving law enforcement on Indian reservations and in rural Alaska villages. The Tribal Law and Order Act, which passed the Senate through unanimous consent, would allow the state of Alaska, tribes and tribal organizations that employ village public safety officers to fund the positions through federal grants or congressional earmarks, thanks to amendments introduced by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "Roughly 90 communities in rural … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski takes on EPA, federal spending in Fairbanks speech

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski railed against an "overreaching" administration and government agencies in a speech Friday during the weekly Interior Republican luncheon. Murkowski warned the crowd of several dozen people about the $5.8 trillion public debt,.which she said will double in five years and triple in 10 years if government spending continues on its current course. "There is nothing more out of check than what is happening with the debt, what is happening with the deficit," she said… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Murkowski wants more heavy icebreakers

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the temporary loss of the nation's only working heavy icebreaker threatens the nation's ability to respond to Arctic emergencies. Murkowski's office says the Alaska Republican has introduced legislation to fund the construction of two Polar class icebreakers, as well as to improve Arctic navigation and maritime infrastructure. Murkowski says she was notified by the Coast Guard that the nation's only working heavy icebreaker would be out of service until at least J… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Murkowski addresses spending, EPA; calls efforts 'badge of honor'

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a speech before Interior Republicans, said she considers her attempt to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act to be a "badge of honor." Senate Republicans, and the six Democrats who voted with them to advance Murkowski's resolution, said Congress should be in charge of writing climate change policy. They said the EPA rules would drive up energy costs and kill jobs. The Senate defeated the resolution 53-4… Continue Reading


USA Today: Congress advances tough new sanctions on Iran

Congress has voted to impose tough new economic sanctions on Iran's energy industry, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature. On a 99-to-0 vote, the Senate passed a measure that would penalize companies that import gas and other refined energy products to Iran. The bill also would ban U.S. banks from dealing with foreign banks that do business with the Revolutionary Guard or aid Iran's nuclear program, according to the Associated Press. The House vote to approve the measure wa… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski pushes year-round Fairbanks worker training center

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski asked federal officials this week to consider building a year-round training center in Fairbanks to prepare workers for a natural gas pipeline. Murkowski, writing Tuesday to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said the state's skilled labor force is aging. She estimated Alaska must see 1,000 new construction workers trained annually to keep up, "much less prepare for the construction of the largest private-sector construction project in the nation's history." Major e… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Oil Spill Compensation Act of 2010

We're entering the third month of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the 22nd year since the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef. In the Gulf of Mexico, as much as 3 million barrels of crude have already spilled from the blown-out well, and in Prince William Sound there is still oil hiding under rocky beaches. These disasters share more than environmental damage: As was the case in Alaska, the economic and social impact in the Gulf of Mexico also continues to rise. In an all too familiar scenario, th… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Polar Sea engine trouble sparks Murkowski call for more icebreakers

The Coast Guard is drydocking the Polar Sea icebreaker and cancelling the 2010 Arctic patrol. The icebreaker could be laid up until at least January, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowsi, R-Alaska. That's prompted Murkowski to renew her call for more icebreakers. She has introduced legislation to pay for two new Polar class icebreakers, so-called "heavy" icebreakers that are designed to work in severe ice conditions. A press release from Murkowski's office Friday morning … Continue Reading


Tundra Drums: Village police funding to get boost in tribal law act, Murkowski says

The Senate passed the Tribal Law and Order Act, according to a written statement from the office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. The legislation, which passed the Senate Wednesday night by unanimous consent, would improve law enforcement and the justice system on Indian reservations in the Lower 48. Murkowski, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, included several provisions in the bill that would address the lack of law enforcement in Alaska's rural communities. … Continue Reading


Ketchikan Daily News: EDITORIAL: Rare U.S. jobs

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has proposed legislation that would bring jobs home. When we say "home," we mean the Ketchikan area. With all of the jobs exported these days (check your closet to find even one item of clothing made in the good old U.S.A. and it'll be difficult to find), work needs to be returned home. Exporting our jobs is exporting our economy. Right now China benefits greatly indeed in terms of clothing, but in many other items, too, many of which are dependent on rare earth element… Continue Reading


Bureau of National Affairs (BNA): Murkowski Offers Bill to Promote Mining Of Rare Elements Valued for ‘Green' Products

Legislation introduced June 22 would require the Obama administration to consider federal loan guarantees and stockpiling to promote domestic production of rare earth elements, which are increasingly used for environmentally friendly technologies. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) proposed the Rare Earth Supply Technology and Resources Transformation Act (no bill number assigned yet) to provide the economic assistance that may be needed to restart U.S. production of rare earth elements. The elemen… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Republicans push mining measure

FAIRBANKS - Resource-focused state lawmakers this spring urged Congress to aid mining for elements used to make modern weapons, emerging-energy technologies and other products. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday responded with a resolution that aims to restart the production of those so-called rare earth elements. The measure serves as a companion to a similar proposal in the U.S. House. Either one, according to synopses from supportive state lawmakers, would help supply "loan guarantees fo… Continue Reading


National Journal – Energy and Environment Blog: Murkowski: Spill Should Spur Drilling In ANWR

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill shows that the U.S. should be drilling in places where the technology is already proven, and that includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the state's senior senator said today. "We would be producing on shore near an area where we have been producing for 30 years and we have technologies in place that allow us to do so much more," Republican Lisa Murkowski told reporters after a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on electric vehicl… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski, Begich want more studies on mail change

FAIRBANKS - Senators from Alaska and Hawaii want field hearings in their states before the Postal Service makes a decision to reduce mail delivery to five days per week. The Postal Regulatory Commission is studying the proposal, which would eliminate Saturday mail service and save the debt-ridden Postal Service more than $3 billion per year. The commission will hold hearings on the proposal in seven major cities in the Lower 48, but Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sens. Dani… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Senators want mail hearings held in Alaska

HONOLULU -- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich say hearings on a proposal to drop mail deliveries on Saturdays should be held in Alaska and Hawaii. The Alaskans joined Hawaii Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka in asking the Postal Regulatory Commission to hold hearings in both states. The commission has already announced hearings on the proposal will be held in seven other states. But the senators said mail delivery is strikingly different in Alaska and Hawaii, where residents depen… Continue Reading


Alaska Journal of Commerce: Alaska senators on spill bandwagon with new federal bills

Alaska's U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, are jumping on the bandwagon for new federal oil spill legislation with proposals to push Alaska-related offshore proposals. Murkowski planned to introduce a bill dealing with payments on spill liability claims and limits on industry liability. Included in that is a measure on revenue sharing of federal oil royalties with coastal states, including Alaska, and the establishment of regional citizens' advisory councils modeled on the councils… Continue Reading

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