Articles & Op-eds


Reuters: Obama, top Senate Democrat split on nuclear nominee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will renominate Republican Kristine Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, defying opposition from his own party's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the White House said on Thursday. Republicans want Svinicki, whose term as a commissioner expires in June, to stay on the panel and assert that the process has been held up because she, along with three other commission members, accused current NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, a Democrat, of bullyi… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: America's Lost Energy Decade

by By Senator Lisa Murkowski

Ten years ago this week, the U.S. Senate debated whether to open a small section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas production. Under the terms of the ANWR amendment, a maximum of 2,000 acres in the nonwilderness portion of the refuge (less than 0.01% of the whole) would have been opened to surface development. But the amendment was defeated, and we are paying the price today. In an energy-strategy speech Tuesday, President Obama once again listed the importance of pr… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Beware, Alaskans: Floods are coming

Alaska's heavy snow pack, coupled with cooler-than-average temperatures, is a recipe for flooding this year. Hydrologists with the National Weather Service delivered the news during a roundtable discussion on the issue Thursday morning in Anchorage with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Alaskans are already feeling the effects of break up, a phenomenon that for urban Alaskans can be measured by gallons of windshield washer fluid used, Murkowski pointed out. The more you need, the longer y… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Court challenge marks Affordable Care Act’s second anniversary

Back in 2010, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi shared an incredible observation about one of the most ambitious and expansive pieces of legislation in American history: "We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it." She was talking about the Affordable Care Act, the health care bill that just concluded a three-day hearing in the United States Supreme Court - the longest since the Miranda trial in the 1960s - to determine whether this law is even constitutional. Last week we… Continue Reading


Washington Post: Federal prosecutors need to play fair with evidence

A REPORT RELEASED last week lays out in shocking detail the government's badly marred prosecution of the late senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Unforgivably, prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that could have helped the former senator refute corruption charges. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. moved to dismiss the case against Mr. Stevens, who died in a 2010 airplane crash. But the lengthy report underlines the need to revamp rules governing the government's handover of exculpatory evide… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Special prosecutor's report tells sorry tale of Stevens case

In a 514-page report, federal special prosecutor Henry Schuelke spells out how federal lawyers gave Alaskans and the nation the opposite of what we thought we were getting in the trial of the late Sen. Ted Stevens. Alaskans thought we were getting justice, without fear or favor, without regard for rank, privilege or position. Stevens was convicted of accepting excessive gifts in the form of work on his Girdwood home run by former Veco president Bill Allen, himself convicted on corruption charge… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News - Miner: Evidence withheld: Report reveals big flaws in Stevens prosecution

The misconduct of the federal prosecutors who withheld justice from the late Sen. Ted Stevens is on full display in the 514-page report released Thursday by a federal court.Had Stevens been given a fair trial, he never would have been convicted and he would not have lost the election in 2008.But what is more important and never can be totally erased is the damage those Department of Justice attorneys have done to our system of justice.It is important to learn from this miscarriage of justice and… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski to Salazar: Clean up legacy wells

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski had tough words recently for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the subject of "legacy wells" drilled by the federal government on the North Slope. During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing Feb. 28 on the Interior Department budget, Murkowski said the government was doing too little to properly plug and clean up the old well sites. The federal government drilled dozens of exploratory wells decades ago and now most of them "sit without attention," fa… Continue Reading


Reuters: Murkowski: Too soon to tap U.S. oil reserves

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The government should save its strategic oil reserves for a true supply emergency and resist the temptation to tap them now as a "quick fix" to quell rising gasoline prices, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Monday. Releasing oil too soon from the salt caverns storing 696 million barrels of crude could have a short-term political pay-off by lowering gasoline prices but would sell the country short if tensions in Iran severely restrict world supplies later this ye… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Gastineau Elementary School gets special visit

Sen. Lisa Murkowski shared a message of life-long learning and legislative support with students at Gastineau Elementary School on Thursday. Murkowski visited with two classrooms and a school-wide assembly Thursday afternoon, at the end of which she shared two special gifts: a book for the library - Alaska author Shelley Gill's "Swimmer" and a mostly new American flag, which was flown over the U.S. Capitol and came with a special certificate. Her first stop was Rene Walker's first-grade clas… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Legislators Tell Murkowski Their Concerns

Near the end of her presentation, Senator Murkowski asked legislators to communicate with the federal government and with her office about any concerns they might have. She was quickly asked about two messages to the federal government that are pending action in the legislature this session. A resolution by Anchorage Republican Charisse Millett asks the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management to clean up 137 abandoned oil wells drilled by the federal government within … Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski presses feds on dropped Allen sex crime case

JUNEAU -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday she's pressing for an answer on why federal prosecutors stopped pursuing a teen sex crime case against former Veco Corp. chairman Bill Allen and refused to let state prosecutors take on the task. "We have not yet dropped this issue and I will not drop this issue," Murkowski said after her annual speech to the Alaska Legislature. Allen was the star witness for federal prosecutors in three Alaska political corruption cases, testifying against two … Continue Reading


Associated Press: Murkowski opens Juneau office

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has opened a new office in Juneau. Murkowski, in a news release, says the city is fluent in politics, and having an office there opens an important line of communication. She says her downtown office will provide a place for residents to more easily connect with her. Murkowski's staff member in Juneau is Colleen McCowan.… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Alaska Delegation Introduces Legislation To Prevent Moving Eielson F-16s

Alaska's U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to prevent the Air Force transfer of aircraft from Eielson in North Pole to joint base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski's bill blocks funding for the movement of a 21 jet F-16 fighter squadron. Senator Begich, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, says the measure is aimed at what he calls an unjustified move by the Air Force prior to the start of an upcoming Base Realignment and Closure Commissi… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Senate passes 4-year, $63 billion FAA extension

It may not seem like it, but for a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, three years is a lifetime. The Senate on Monday voted 75-20 to approve a bill granting FAA $63 billion through 2015 and ending years of piecemeal, short-term extensions that sometimes secured funding for just a few months. As The Hill points out, short-term authorizations have been the name of the game for the FAA since 2007, and the long-term extension comes at a time few would have expected it. In August, a d… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: How to tackle cybersecurity

The Senate is about to consider cybersecurity legislation. Ensuring the integrity and safety of our nation's critical infrastructure is a bipartisan issue that Congress and President Barack Obama must work together to tackle. There is a right way and a wrong way to address cybersecurity. The right way is for the government and private sector to work together to solve problems, help the free flow of information between network managers and encourage investment and innovation in cybersecurity. Th… Continue Reading


Congressional Quarterly: Diplomacy Greases Wheels For Alaska Oil Production

Last February, Lisa Murkowski made the short trip from Capitol Hill to the White House for an appointment with President Obama. Fresh off a hard-fought re-election victory, the Alaska Republican had requested the meeting to highlight a conundrum facing her state: Although Alaska's North Slope boasts some of the largest oil and gas reserves on Earth, production has been declining for years. For an hour - and using maps she had brought along as visual aids - Murkowski outlined the obstacles that… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Changing the conversation: Temper the vilification in Congress

Our country is facing serious challenges that continue to be left unresolved. Stalemates on issues from energy independence to wholesale tax reform to getting our economy on a sound footing threaten to undercut our nation's strength, yet Congress has been unable to reach a consensus on legislation to move us forward.One reason for the gridlock is members of opposing parties work in completely separate orbits. Lawmakers rarely interact on a bipartisan basis, and instead are locked in competition.… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News - Miner: Alaska Sens. Murkowski, Begich opposed to online piracy bill; Rep. Don Young undecided

FAIRBANKS - As waves of constituents voice their opposition to a pair of bills aimed at halting online piracy, Alaska's senators announced Wednesday they plan to vote against the legislation. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, both released statements saying they oppose the Senate's Protect Internet Protocol Act, saying the effort raises too many concerns about privacy and civil liberties. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, hasn't taken a position on the House version … Continue Reading


Associated Press: End partisan seating at State of Union, Murkowski says

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski is urging a permanent end to the partisan seating arrangement at the State of the Union address. The Alaska Republican is joining Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in asking congressional leaders to institute bipartisan seating. The two led the push for bipartisan seating in 2011, after the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Murkowski was to sit with Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski but missed the address when her son had appendici… Continue Reading

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