Articles & Op-eds


Murkowski introduces bullet line bill

The bill, introduced Friday, would authorize the National Park Service to grant a right of way for construction of the so-called bullet line through Denali National Park. Although other routes are under consideration, one proposal would send the buried line along the Parks Highway for the roughly seven miles that the road passes through the park. Murkowski said the alternative would be to build the pipeline around the park through remote and currently undisturbed land. The line is… Continue Reading


Sen. Murkowski asks for U.S. volcano network

by Betty Mills

WASHINGTON - With her family trapped in Alaska by the eruptions of Mount Redoubt, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, took to the Senate floor this week to appeal for a stable source of funding for volcano research and monitoring. "Recently, there were some comments made about federal spending for volcano monitoring and the suggestion that this might be wasteful," she told the Senate. "I can assure you that monitoring volcanoes is critically important to the nation, and especially, to my home sta… Continue Reading


EDITORIAL: Explosive subject

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has the right approach to secure funding for volcano observations - make it part of a national program. Former Sen. Ted Stevens successfully earmarked money for many years to make the Alaska Volcano Observatory an effective early warning system and scientific enterprise. But it was never just about Alaska. So much national and international air traffic passes through Alaska airspace that up-to-date tracking of volcanic hazards should be a national priority. Beside… Continue Reading


Murkowski calls for national volcano monitoring

by Matthew Daly

As Alaska's Mount Redoubt sends a steady stream of ash skyward, the state's Republican senator is calling for a national volcano monitoring system to ensure early warnings of volcanic activity. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the Mount Redoubt eruptions, which have forced flight cancellations at Anchorage International Airport 100 miles away, underscore the need for more and better volcano observation. She also took a shot at fellow Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Arizona… Continue Reading


Ski accident does not deter Murkowski's rise

by Matthew Daly

Despite a serious fall in a skiing accident, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a woman on the rise. An accomplished skier, Murkowski tore two ligaments and cartilage in her left knee March 8 after tumbling more than 300 feet down Alaska's Mount Alyeska. The accident left the 51-year-old Republican temporarily confined to a wheelchair and crutches, but did not stop her from returning to Washington in time to vote the next day on a $410 billion spending package that included nearly $200 million fo… Continue Reading


Murkowski Op-Ed: Gun bill is going nowhere

by Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives reminds us that we must remain vigilant in the defense of our Second Amendment rights. Many in Fairbanks, and across the nation, have expressed great concern about the introduction of HR 45, The Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, and I would like to address these concerns. HR 45, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., would require any person owning a handgun or semiautomatic firearm to obtain a federal firearms… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Gun bill is going nowhere

Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives reminds us that we must remain vigilant in the defense of our Second Amendment rights. Many in Fairbanks, and across the nation, have expressed great concern about the introduction of HR 45, The Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, and I would like to address these concerns. HR 45, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., would require any person owning a handgun or semiautomatic firearm to obtain a federal firearms… Continue Reading


Murkowski proposes directional drilling in ANWR

by Anne Sutton

JUNEAU -- Environmental groups said they would fight any legislation that would let oil companies drill sideways from outside the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into its oil and gas reserves, predicting it would be "dead in the water" under the Obama administration. Their response came within hours of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's announcement Thursday that she planned to introduce a bill that would allow for use of a technology called directional drilling under the… Continue Reading


Murkowski delivers Republican rebuttal to stimulus bill

by Jennifer Castro

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's congressional Republicans voted against the economic stimulus bill that passed its final hurdle Friday night. On Saturday Sen. Lisa Murkowski addressed the issues of the bill she opposed, and says many Americans are being misled about the long-term effects the bill will have on the economy. "The government pays its bills by selling promissory notes and by printing money," Murkowski said during the weekly Republican Web address. "Who will buy t… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: America’s responsibility and opportunity as an Arctic nation

It didn't garner a lot of public attention, but the White House recently released an important new policy statement dealing with an area of the world that is starting to gain the high level attention it deserves - the Arctic. In a joint National Security Council-Homeland Security Presidential Directive, President Bush calls for enhanced security, increased environmental protection, sustainable energy development, international scientific cooperation and greater involvement of indigenous people … Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Sen. Murkowski votes against auto bailout legislation

In early December, the U.S. Senate met in a post-election session to consider whether the Federal Government should provide financial assistance to the "Big Three" U.S. automakers: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. The Big Three argue that without federal assistance in these turbulent financial times, their cash flow will end and they will not be able to continue operations. With a federal bridge loan, the automobile companies say they will be able to continue operations until revised labor and… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Open the Outer Continental Shelf to energy exploration

Since 2005, Shell Oil has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy leases in hopes of being able to explore for oil off the coast of northern Alaska. Based on past drilling, the area has proven oil deposits and seemed to be a sure bet for increasing domestic oil supply. But so far Shell has not been allowed to look for oil, much less extract a single barrel of it. Why? Because we have created a regulatory and permitting process covering offshore energy development for most of the nation that… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Law of the Sea Treaty

Recent actions by Russia, Canada and other northern tier nations to strengthen or establish claims in the Arctic Ocean underscore why it's so critical for the United States Senate to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Otherwise, we may be watching from the sidelines as other nations divvy up the energy resources of the Arctic seabed. It is believed that the Arctic may hold 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas, a number that could rise considerably as additional survey wor… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Plow energy revenue windfall into renewables and power transmission systems

Everyone in Alaska knows that the current record prices for fossil fuels are a two-edged sword. They are fattening the state's treasury while shrinking Alaskans' pocketbooks and driving "energy refugees" from villages as fuel costs pass the point of endurance. Everyone in Alaska also knows that as the Legislature heads into another special session, the State must help Alaskans deal with the current energy crisis. But when you are up to your neck in alligators sometimes it's easy to forget that t… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: On this date in 1958, Senate vote secured Alaska's future

Fifty years ago, hope and excitement were running high in the United States Senate as lawmakers approached the final hours of a marathon debate on Alaska statehood. Some of the Senate's most distinguished members had weighed in on the issue, including John F. Kennedy, Everett Dirksen, Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Warren Magnuson, Mike Mansfield, Strom Thurmond and President Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush.Opponents contended that it set a bad precedent to admit a noncontiguous state to the Union, wh… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Prevention is the Key

We are all familiar with the saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." When it comes to health care in America, it shouldn't be just a saying, but a rule to live by. Type 2 diabetes rang up $174 billion in costs in 2007. Obesity has direct and indirect costs of $123 billion each year. Heart disease and stroke take the lives of nearly 2,400 Americans each day, with a projected cost of $448 billion in 2008. The unfortunate reality of these statistics is that much of the $2.3 trill… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Competitive Foods and Child Obesity

by Senator Murkowski

In the past few months we've heard much about a slowing economy and the rising cost of living. One of the biggest drivers is the ever-increasing cost of health care. Americans want action on controlling out-of-control medical care costs-for prescription drugs, to doctor's visits, to hospital visits. They want to know that their own financial futures are not put at risk by these rising prices, and they want to know that their children's future is not jeopardized by the rising costs of Medicare an… Continue Reading


Roll Call: Carbon-free nuclear power in a crisis just when it’s most needed

by Benjamin J. Hulac

The Barakah nuclear power station, a four-reactor plant in the United Arab Emirates, is expected to go online later this year. Billed as the first commercial nuclear project in the oil-rich Arab world, Barakah will generate enough electricity for a major city - 5.6 gigawatts, at a cost of about $24 billion. It will be one of more than 100 new nuclear plants being built around the world, including many "small modular reactors" capable of powering cities, campuses or rural areas without producing… Continue Reading

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