Menu Schedule Links

Liz Ruskin, APRN

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

US Senate Confirms Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

The U.S. Senate today voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general. Both Alaska senators voted against her, saying she has not shown she has the independence to stand up to the Obama White House.

Download Audio

April 23, 2015

Alaska Miners Dispute Claim That ‘Much’ Of Alaska’s Federal Lands Are Open To Mining

Alaska mining advocates are taking issue with something Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said last week, while defending federal resource management in Alaska.

Download Audio

April 23, 2015

Sullivan Wins Amendment to Let States Prosecute Mann Act

Sen. Dan Sullivan added an amendment to the human trafficking bill the U.S. Senate passed today. It addresses a problem he faced as Alaska’s attorney general, when the feds declined to prosecute Bill Allen on sexual abuse charges.

Download Audio

April 22, 2015

Arctic Priorities Questioned on Eve of U.S. Chairmanship

The United States assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council next week, kicking off a two-year window to assert American priorities in the region. The U.S. and other member nations have committed to making the Arctic a “zone of peace.” But now, some Arctic watchers wonder if the U.S. needs to add an item to its Arctic priority list: get tough with Russia.

Download Audio

April 17, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Defends Federal Land Management

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today defended the federal government’s land management and brushed off calls from legislators in Alaska, and other states, to seize federal lands.

Download Audio

April 16, 2015

Oil Price Likely To Dip Again After Brief Surge

The price of Brent Crude hit above $63 a barrel today, the highest it’s been this year. That gives Alaskans something to cheer about, but the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration told a Senate panel Thursday two political events on the horizon would likely bring the global price down.

Download Audio

April 16, 2015

U.S. Senate Favors Secure Rural Schools – Secure Docs, Too

The U.S. Senate last night passed a bill to continue Secure Rural Schools. That’s a federal revenue-sharing program that delivers some $14 million to local governments in Alaska, primarily in Southeast, to compensate for low federal timber receipts. The bill also helps Medicare providers nationwide.

Download Audio

April 15, 2015

Murkowski Campaign Shows Financial Might

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is up for re-election next year, and her fundraising is going strong. Her campaign today reported she raised $700,000 in the first three months of the year, and has $1.5 million on hand.

Download Audio

April 15, 2015

Eielson Will Keep F-16 Squadron

The Secretary of the Air Force told Alaska officials Tuesday that Eielson Air Force Base will keep its F-16 Aggressor squadron. Alaska Congressman Don Young says it’s good news on its own but it also improves the chances the Eielson will get F-35 aircraft, too.

Download Audio

April 14, 2015

Greenpeace Activists Banned from Arctic Rigs

Greenpeace protesters have climbed down from an Arctic-bound drill rig in the Pacific. The activists said rough waters drove them off their high-seas bivouac on Shell’s Polar Pioneer this Saturday — nearly a week after they climbed aboard.

Download Audio

April 13, 2015

Public Comment Period Opens Up For Shell’s Chukchi Plan

If you want to comment on Shell’s plan to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer, now is your chance. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Friday that it considers Shell’s latest exploration plan and supporting documents sufficient enough to begin an official review. The determination kicks off a public comment period that lasts through the end of April.

Download Audio

April 10, 2015

With New Purchase, Shell May Be Less Keen on Arctic

Royal Dutch Shell announced this week a plan to purchase a major British LNG company, and statements by top executives suggest Shell may now be less committed to its future in Alaska’s offshore Arctic.

Download Audio

April 9, 2015
Long After Civil War’s End, Rebel Raiders Fought On in Bering Sea

Long After Civil War’s End, Rebel Raiders Fought On in Bering Sea

One hundred and fifty years ago, on April 9, General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va. Textbooks typically say this event signaled the end of the Civil War. But a few historians make the case that the last shots of the war were actually fired from a Confederate ship off Alaska’s coast, in the Bering Sea.

Download Audio

April 8, 2015

Rural Subsistence Hunters No Longer Need Federal Duck Stamps

It took a few years and an act of Congress, but today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced rural subsistence hunters don’t need to purchase federal duck stamps.

Download Audio

April 8, 2015

Obama’s ANWR Wilderness Protection Plea Enrages Alaska Delegation

President Obama today sent letters to Congressional leaders formally requesting wilderness protection for parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the coastal plain.

Download Audio

April 3, 2015

Promise and Hazards of Arctic Oil Outlined at D.C. Forum

With two of Shell’s rigs now crossing the Pacific in hopes of drilling in the Chukchi Sea this summer, officials and energy experts gathered at a forum in Washington this week to review the rewards and challenges ahead for Arctic oil development. Jan Mares, an energy policy advisor, says the prize is within the industry’s technical reach.

Download Audio

April 2, 2015

House OKs Timber Payments, But Alaskans Can’t Count on It

A federal revenue-sharing program called Secure Rural Schools has been a million-dollar boon to some Alaska cities and boroughs, mostly in Southeast. Despite the name, the money doesn’t just go to schools, and these days it’s not at all secure. But a two-year extension of Secure Rural Schools has advanced in Congress.

Download Audio

April 1, 2015

Feds Move Shell Closer to Chukchi Drilling this Summer

Shell’s effort to resume exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea has cleared another hurdle. The Interior Department today approved the 2008 Arctic lease sale where Shell spent more than $2 billion to purchase drilling rights.

Download Audio

March 31, 2015

Murkowski Adds Federal Land Disposal Measure to Budget

Environmentalists are saying a budget amendment authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski could lead to a plundering of treasured federal landscapes. Murkowski’s amendment on federal land disposals was part of a national budget resolution the Senate passed early this morning. Senators offered hundreds of amendments that don’t have the force of law but often serve symbolic or political purposes.

Download Audio

March 27, 2015

Rep. Young Co-Sponsors Pot Bill to Let States Decide

Alaska Congressman Don Young has co-sponsored a bill that would, among other features, end the federal ban on medical marijuana in states that have chosen to make it legal.

Download Audio

March 25, 2015