Articles & Op-eds


Alaskans urge health care changes

by Sean Cockerham

Alaskans who crowded the Wilda Marston Theatre on Saturday told Sen. Mark Begich overwhelmingly they wanted Congress to create a "public option" for health care as an alternative to the nation's existing system based on private insurance. The question of whether health care reform should include a public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers is drawing intense attention. President Obama strongly favors it and most congressional Republicans are opposed, with the si… Continue Reading


Leadership Races Firming Up; Thune, Murkowski Clearing Field

by Jessica Brady

Sen. John Thune (S.D.) is expected to run unopposed to replace Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) as the Republican Policy Committee chairman. "Sen. Thune has received encouragement from his colleagues but continues to reach out and talk to them," spokesman Kyle Downey said. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) confirmed Thursday that she will run for vice chairwoman of the Conference, the post currently held by Thune. It is unclear whether Murkowski would face competition for the vice chairmanship. Sens… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Health care bill unworkable, unaffordable

Americans are looking to Congress and the White House to see whether lawmakers and the president will deliver on their promises to reform our health care system. As a member of the Senate committee considering comprehensive health care reform legislation, I am committed to working with both my Republican and Democratic colleagues. However, our success will be measured by whether we craft a health care bill that reduces costs while providing affordable, comprehensive medical coverage that ens… Continue Reading


Murkowski Wants Senate Leadership Post

by Libby Casey

Senator Lisa Murkowski is throwing her name into contention for a top GOP leadership job. She's vying to become the Senate Republican's Conference vice chairman. Click here to listen to the audio.… Continue Reading


Murkowski, Begich in town to talk healthcare reform

by Jason Lamb

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Both of Alaska's senators want to talk about healthcare with Alaskans about national plans to overhaul the system at a cost that could reach $1 trillion. It's caused a lot of friction on Capitol Hill and Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski want to hear what their constituents have to say. One idea President Barack Obama has proposed would require you to buy into either a private healthcare plan or one from the government. Preliminary estimates of the plan start … Continue Reading


Murkowski Meets with Supreme Court Nominee

by Libby Casey

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) met with Supreme Court Justice Nominee Judge Sotomayor on Thursday. Listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


Murkowski presses Sotomayor about past remarks

by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday she was pleased to hear Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor say she "looks to the law first" when making legal decisions, but the Alaska Republican also said she remains undecided on whether she will vote to confirm President Barack Obama's first high court pick. Murkowski met Thursday with Sotomayor, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Second Circuit who could become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. Her confirm… Continue Reading


Sen. Murkowski seeks spot in Republican leadership

by Betty Mills

WASHINGTON - Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has decided to seek a spot in the Senate Republican leadership that suddenly became available Wednesday. Murkowski is phoning GOP colleagues to gauge support for her race to be vice chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. The position is the fifth in the hierarchy of Senate Republican leaders. The closed-door election by Senate Republicans will be held June 25. The position opened up during a fast-paced day on Capitol Hill following th… Continue Reading


Alaskan lawmaker seeks Energy Dept. funds

The $28 million in funds offered by the U.S. Energy Department for Alaskan energy programs are attractive despite concerns from Gov. Sarah Palin, lawmakers say. Palin in a letter to the Energy Department complained the funding measure had too many strings attached for her to accept the $28.6 million in stimulus funds for Alaska's energy programs. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, however, said despite the objections from Palin, Alaska could use the funds effectively, the Platts news servic… Continue Reading


U.S. House energy bill has Alaska-friendly provisions

by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON -- A sweeping energy bill was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with the support of the panel's top Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The bill, which passed 15-8, now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. The wide-ranging legislation includes a provision increasing the transparency of energy markets, establishes new energy efficiency standards for appliances and opens up additional areas of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to possible oi… Continue Reading


EDITORIAL: Murkowski wins agreement on health facts for restaurant food

On the menu When you look at the menu of a chain restaurant, along with the price you will soon see another number: calories. That's useful information, and it comes to us partly thanks to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Murkowski introduced a bill last year to require restaurants nationwide to list calories and nutrients for their offerings. Given the obesity epidemic, she believes restaurant-goers need the information to make informed choices. Without a guide, it's impossible to te… Continue Reading


GAO Reports Minimal Progress in RelocatingAlaska Native Villages Threatened by Erosion

by Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-Despite ongoing erosion that is exacerbated by a warming climate, little progress has been made in the efforts to partially or completely relocate a dozen Alaska Native villages, the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued June 3. Of the more than 200 Native villages in Alaska, most are being affected by flooding and erosion that is linked, at least in part, to rapid climate change in the far north, according to the report, Alaska Native Villages: Limited P… Continue Reading


Murkowski and Begich Allied on Pipeline

by Libby Casey

Outside the Energy Committee and across the aisle, US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) has a supporter for her pipeline loan guarantee measures. Alaska's Junior Senator, Mark Begich (D). Listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


U.S. bill to raise Alaska gas pipeline loan guarantee

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) - Key U.S. lawmakers have reached a deal on legislation that would boost the federal government's loan guarantee for building a massive pipeline that would transport Alaska's huge natural gas reserves to the lower 48 States. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Democratic chairman Jeff Bingaman and top panel Republican Lisa Murkowski have agreed to a measure that would raise the 2004 loan guarantee program for the pipeline project to $30 billion from $18… Continue Reading


Murkowski Seeks $30 Billion Loan Guarantee To Construct Alaska Gas Pipeline to Lower 48

by Lynn Garner

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to approve June 9 an oil and gas title to a draft energy bill that will increase a federal loan guarantee for building the Alaska natural gas pipeline from $18 billion to $30 billion. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), ranking minority member, said Senate Energy Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) has agreed to include the increased authorization in the base text of an energy bill that the committee hopes to complete the week of June 9. … Continue Reading


Gas Pipeline Up Before US Senate Committee

Provisions that would help finance an Alaska natural gas pipeline are in the US Senate energy bill being hammered out this month. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) says she has support from Energy Committee Democrats to insert the proposals in the base text of the oil and gas part of the bill. At this stage, the gasline provisions have bipartisan support. They would sweeten loan guarantees and speed up the process to get them. Listen to the audio by clicking here.… Continue Reading


Murkowski: Congress supports Alaska gas line

by Jill Burke

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski says Congress is helping pave the way for a new gas pipeline in Alaska. In a video news release, Murkowski says an energy bill in the works will include financial incentives for the company that builds the pipeline. The incentives include increasing the loan guarantee to $30 billion and allowing the company to access federal financing. The gas line has also received support from President Barack Obama's administration, which has helped the pro… Continue Reading


Federal bill gives edge to Alaska gas pipeline

by Rena Delbridge

FAIRBANKS - The potential of super-low-interest federal loans and increased guarantees might lend greater appeal to proposals to build a large-diameter natural gas pipeline linking Alaska's North Slope resources and markets in Canada and the Lower 48. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced several provisions benefiting an Alaska gas pipeline that she's secured in a comprehensive energy bill in Washington, D.C. She's the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by… Continue Reading


Murkowski optimistic on Alaska gas piplene progress

by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON -- Alaska's proposed natural gas pipeline has the support of the White House and plenty of congressionally sponsored incentives that will grease it through the federal regulatory process, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. So now isn't the time to get sidetracked by "finger-pointing," Murkowski said, referring to an emerging rift among Gov. Sarah Palin, her colleague Sen. Mark Begich and her father, former Gov. Frank Murkowski. Over the past week, Begich complained … Continue Reading


Ratification of the ‘Law of the Sea’ treaty would redraw the maps

by Adrian Lysenko

BARROW, Alaska- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a 420 ft. icebreaker homeported in Seattle, Wash., breaks ice in support of scientific research in the Arctic Ocean. The Healy is mid-way through a four month deployment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Prentice Danner. Alaskans are living in a time period to see one of the last redrawings of the world maps, when "more is known about the surface of Mars than about the Arctic Ocean's deep." That quote came from Scott G. Borgerson,… Continue Reading

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