Articles & Op-eds

07.15.19

Water Finance and Management: COMMENTARY: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

by Dan Buckley

As contractors, engineers and business owners, we deal with numbers every day. As I give you a recent summary of how our elected officials have been behaving, I ask you to remember a scene from a movie that is over 20 years old: Dr. Evil in "Austin Powers," demanding "$1 million…no, $100 billion!" It seems that Dr. Evil can't grasp decades-exponential inflation. And the funny thing is, our elected representatives seem to have the same issue, and we actually give them the job of managing… Continue Reading


07.15.19

KTUU: Geothermal development is heating up in Alaska

by Matt Leseman

Volcanoes along the Aleutian chain, hot springs in the interior and the Southeast. these are Alaska's three main geothermal resources. Lisa Murkowski has encouraged Alaskans to develop them. Gwen Holdmann, Director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power says the main thing stopping development is the distance. "At the end of the day, if you're looking at economic development of these resources, you need to have some sort of a load within a reasonable distance to make it worth developing or s… Continue Reading


07.15.19

CoastAlaska: Forest Service chief makes quiet visit to Tongass National Forest

by Jacob Resneck

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen was hosted this past weekend in Southeast Alaska by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The trip gave Chief Christiansen a direct look at challenges and opportunities in the Tongass National Forest and an opportunity to hear from local stakeholders and tribal leaders about the need to build a strong, sustainable economy in the region. "I thank Chief Christiansen and her team for joining me in Southeast to see and experience our nation's largest natio… Continue Reading


07.09.19

Automotive Logisitics: Running out of juice – will demand for battery materials outstrip supply?

As OEMs accelerate their EV programmes, there is growing concern that demand for battery materials will outstrip supply. Gavin du Venage considers the risks Environmentalists hope that a transition to electric vehicles (EVs) will secure cleaner air in the near future and carmakers are putting increasing resources into electrification, but few people supporting the rise of EVs consider the viability of the raw material resources being fed into the lower end of this new type of automotive supply … Continue Reading


07.08.19

American Institute of Physics: The Week of July 8, 2019

Science Committee to Spotlight Disappearing Glaciers and Ice Sheets The House Science Committee has invited five scientists to testify at a hearing Thursday on the worldwide recession of glaciers and ice sheets. Alongside decreases in the seasonal coverage of sea ice, the retreat of permanent masses of land-based ice represents one of the most visible early effects of climatic warming. Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the rapid deterioration of parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are an… Continue Reading


07.08.19

SitNews: $53 Million Approved for Fishermen & Stakeholders Affected by 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pink

by Mary Kauffman

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the approval of $53.8 million to restore losses for Alaska fisheries impacted by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster. NOAA approved the funds Tuesday and transferred the funds to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the agency tasked with distributing the relief payments to fishermen and their deckhands, processors, and for salmon research in the affected regions. "This funding has been a long-time … Continue Reading


07.07.19

Defense News: What will the US defense industry do when China cuts off rare earth supplies?

by Jeffery A. Green

On June 17, Chinese state-controlled media again threatened disruption of rare earth supplies to the United States - this time targeting U.S. defense contractors. The astonishing threat noted that "military equipment firms in the United States will likely have their supply of Chinese rare earths restricted" and follows calls just weeks ago to shut off rare earth supplies to the United States. The latest comments follow a meeting of China's state economic planner, the National Development and Re… Continue Reading


07.03.19

Wall Street Journal: Equal Rights Amendment Could Soon Be Back in Congress

by Kristina Peterson

The last amendment to the U.S. Constitution took 203 years to ratify. A Supreme Court ruling in June has revived hopes-and controversy-over whether another such change, the Equal Rights Amendment, could be ratified far sooner. Congress could face the issue, and a host of complicated legal questions, early next year. Already, the ERA, which says "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex," has surfaced on the 2020 campai… Continue Reading


07.02.19

Washington Examiner: House bill targets illicit use of Pentagon networks

by Regina Barton

Bipartisan legislation introduced Tuesday in the House seeks to stop the use of Department of Defense computer networks for sharing child pornography. The bill, called the End National Defense Network Abuse Act, was introduced in response to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation that showed over 5,000 individuals used Pentagon networks to access child pornography websites. Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Mark Meadows of North Carolina introduced the legislation. The… Continue Reading


07.01.19

Associated Press: Senators press feds on commitment to Native American safety

Lawmakers pressed the Trump administration on June 19 to respond with urgency in addressing violence against Native American women and children after they say two officials arrived at a key U.S. Senate hearing unprepared to take concrete positions on proposed legislation. The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held the hearing in Washington to review a slate of bipartisan bills aimed at stemming domestic violence, homicides and disappearances on tribal lands. The hearing followed recent p… Continue Reading


07.01.19

Scientific American: Safer Nuclear Reactors Are on the Way

by Mark Fischetti

Controlling carbon in the atmosphere will require a mix of energy technologies-potentially including nuclear reactors, which emit no carbon but are seen as risky because of a few major accidents. That risk could be greatly reduced. Commercial reactors have used the same fuel for decades: small pellets of uranium dioxide stacked inside long cylindrical rods made of a zirconium alloy. Zirconium allows the neutrons generated from fission in the pellets to readily pass among the many rods submerged… Continue Reading


07.01.19

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski introduces International Year of the Salmon bill

by Iris Samuels

Earlier this month, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a resolution recognizing 2019 as the international Year of the Salmon. "Alaskans are incredibly proud of our salmon. My hope is that this resolution will foster discussion and collaboration that will help others more deeply appreciate the tremendous value of these fish - to understand that supporting salmon means supporting food security, marine ecosystems, Alaska Native culture, coastal communities, and economies," said Senator Murko… Continue Reading


06.30.19

Anchorage Daily News: US attorney general declares emergency for public safety in rural Alaska, freeing up $10.5 million to support police

by Alex DeMarban

U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr declared an emergency for public safety in rural Alaska on Friday and announced that the Department of Justice will provide more than $10 million in emergency funds as part of a sweeping plan to support law enforcement in Alaska Native villages. The department's Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program will immediately provide $6 million to the state to hire, equip and train rural police, and for mobile holding cells. Another $4.5 million will s… Continue Reading


06.28.19

Associated Press: US Senate panel takes up what to do with nuclear waste

It's been more than a decade since the US government was supposed to begin moving spent nuclear fuel that has been piling up at dozens of commercial reactors around the country to a repository in the Nevada desert. The Obama administration halted development of a proposed long-term storage site at Yucca Mountain and the federal government is no closer to finding a solution to what to do with the high-level waste. Resistance is strong in Nevada and temporary storage options in New Mexico and Tex… Continue Reading


06.26.19

Modern Healthcare: Senate health committee may change surprise billing proposals ahead of floor vote

by Susannah Luthi

The Senate health committee approved its major healthcare package on Wednesday, but with one change to the proposed ban on surprise medical billing and potentially more to come ahead of a full Senate vote expected later this month. As it stands, the provision on surprise medical bills would cap out-of-network physician or hospital charges at a rate already negotiated by insurers. An amendment to that provision came from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and would make insurers post all the physician an… Continue Reading


06.26.19

Saipan Tribune: A thousand new residents

by Jon Perez

President Donald J. Trump yesterday signed H.R. 559 into law, saving the immigration status and livelihood of 1,039 individuals who have worked in the CNMI for decades and call the islands their second home. H.R. 559, or the Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act, provides a legal remedy for the 1,039 long-term humanitarian parolees and their families-people who are under the categorical parole program and those holding employment authorization documents-by granting them … Continue Reading


06.26.19

Alaska Lawmakers, Industry Tell Democrats to Stand Down

by Brian Dabbs

House Democrats are taking aim at key industries in The Last Frontier. The House passed a minibus spending bill this week that includes a controversial provision to require national minimum bids for oil and gas development in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And Democrats pushed through, on a largely partisan basis, language to ban public funds from being used to build logging roads in the nation's largest national forest, a 17-million-acre expanse in southern Alaska called Tongass, a… Continue Reading


06.26.19

Lake County News: Garamendi’s World War II Merchant Marine Congressional Gold Medal Act heads for House vote

Congressman John Garamendi (CA-3), announced that his bipartisan Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019 has secured the 290 cosponsors necessary to receive a mandatory vote in the House of Representatives. The bill will move to the Consensus Calendar, which hosts legislation that's typically passed unanimously by the House. "Throughout the Second World War, our armed forces relied on the Merchant Marine to ferry supplies, cargo and personnel into both theaters o… Continue Reading


06.25.19

Juneau Empire: OP-ED: Sen. Dan Sullivan: Pressing the Canadian government to take action on transboundary mining

by Senator Dan Sullivan

The Taku, Stikine and Unuk are world-class transboundary rivers that originate in Northwest British Columbia (B.C.) and flow into Southeast Alaska. These iconic rivers and their watersheds are central to our fishing industry as well as tourism in Southeast. Importantly, they've also been centers of culture for thousands of years. It's imperative for our economy and our people that these waters stay pristine for generations to come. Virtually all of the U.S. portions of these watersheds have the… Continue Reading


06.24.19

The Daily Sentinel: OPINION: America's energy, tech and defense future needs more metals, minerals

by John Adams

As the recent trade war with China has escalated, Beijing has implied that it may retaliate by withholding rare earth minerals. Such a strategic vulnerability - and America's alarmingly high reliance on imported minerals and metals - is now in the spotlight for all the world to see. China's rare earth threat underscores just how perilous U.S. mineral import reliance has become. While rare earths are currently the focus, America's overall reliance on imports of these minerals is indicative of a … Continue Reading

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