Articles & Op-eds


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


Alaska Public Radio Network: Senate Looks to Rewrite Education Act

US Senators say the Bush-era "No Child Left Behind" education law failed Alaska Natives and Native Americans. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee took testimony Thursday on how the country's education act should be rewritten to better serve Native students. You can listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska’s senators file bills seeking help for Gulf Coast residents

FAIRBANKS - Alaska's senators spent Tuesday outlining legislation to help those affected by the ongoing crisis in the Gulf and to hold BP responsible for the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's Oil Spill Compensation Act of 2010 would let the president set liability for offshore oil and gas development based on a company's safety record and the type of well being developed. The bill would also establish an administrator named by the president and approved by the S… Continue Reading


Talk Radio News Service: Oil Spill Victims May Get Help From Alaskan Senator

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) announced at a press conference Tuesday that she will be introducing new legislation in an effort to reform the compensation process for oil spill victims. Murkowski said that this new legislation was sparked after she revisited the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Cordova, Alaska, where, after 20 years, the effects of the spill are still evident. "The Oil Spill Compensation Act deals with so many areas with what we are seeing with the situation in the… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Senators Unveil Plans to Help Spill Victims

As President Obama lays out the ongoing federal response to the B-P oil spill blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska's senators are unveiling their own plans to help victims. Senator Lisa Murkowski wants to see an office established to deal with claims quickly and says attorneys should be capped at 5 percent of what victims are paid. Senator Mark Begich supports the President's push to see an escrow account set-up. Begich says he wants to make sure it's not just voluntary, but has some teeth. … Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski proposes bill targeting offshore drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Congress was flooded with bills Tuesday in response to the Gulf disaster. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has proposed a bill that covers a lot of territory. Mukowski's bill is called "The Oil Spill Compensation Act of 2010." The bill aims to give the president, congress and the coast guard more authority and more tools to compensate victims. The proposed legislation would allow the president to set liability when a lease is awarded. A company's rate would depend on its safety recor… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski, Begich on oil spill compensation funds

Alaska's two senators might be on the same page when it comes to promoting offshore drilling in Alaska, but the two offered up different plans on Tuesday for how BP should pay claims in the wake of the April 20 explosion that killed 11 and continues to foul the Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, came out in support Tuesday of the proposal being endorsed by President Barack Obama: forcing BP to establish an escrow fund totaling billions to pay businesses and individuals for their loss… Continue Reading


National Journal - Energy and Environment Blog: Murkowski Would Plump Trust Fund, Let President Raise Liability Cap

Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday will outline her recommendations for addressing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and future spills, including more than doubling a tax on oil companies for spill liability relief, expediting claims and guaranteeing a revenue share for coastal oil-producing states. The Alaska Republican's plan would raise the tax on oil and gas companies going into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund from 8 cents per barrel to 21 cents, abou… Continue Reading


Ketchikan Daily News: Shipyard christens MV Susitna

More than 500 people gathered on the Ketchikan Shipyard's Drydock No. 1 on Friday morning for a dual ceremony to christen the M/V Susitna and commemorate the keel-laying for the MV Ken Eichner II. Both projects involve Alaska Ship and Drydock, the Ketchikan-based company that operates the Ketchikan Shipyard. Friday morning's chill winds and cloudy skies couldn't cool the enthusiasm displayed by the speakers who delivered their remarks from a platform dwarfed by the twin-hulled, 195-foot Susitn… Continue Reading


Alaska Journal of Commerce: Murkowski, Cantwell see hike in oil taxes, inspections

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell said they expect swift Congressional action resulting from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Cantwell, a Democrat of Washington, said June 5 she is working on a plan to require third-party technical verification for approvals on offshore rig and well engineering modifications. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said she expects to see a higher federal tax on oil production to allow the U.S. spill liability fund to be increased to $10 billion. "The… Continue Reading

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