Liz Ruskin, APRN
lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Liz
President Obama today unveiled a package of global initiatives aimed at cracking down on illegal fishing. He also announced two new marine sanctuaries, and they are not in Alaska.
The controversial “Waters of the U.S.” rule took effect in most states this summer, redefining which bodies of water are covered by the Clean Water Act. While legal challenges progress, the WOTUS rule remains a political hot button. Sen. Dan Sullivan pushed that button at a hearing this morning.
Alaska Congressman Don Young and other Republicans this morning attacked the idea that President Obama might create a marine national monument around the Aleutian Islands, with unknown effects on the fishing industry. But the administration has given no sign it’s considering the notion.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says news that Shell is pulling out of the Alaska Arctic hit her hard.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says news that Shell is pulling out of the Alaskan Arctic hit her hard.
“Heartsick. Kick in the gut. Just really devastated,” she said.
Murkowski says dry holes are a fact of oil exploration, but she blames the federal government for curtailing Shell.
Alaska’s congressional delegation had an audience with this pope this morning. Actually, all of Congress did, along with the president’s cabinet and the Supreme Court. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski did have a close encounter with Pope Francis, a personal moment that left her awestruck.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of eight Republicans to vote against advancing a bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. She also explains why she missed an abortion-related vote on Tuesday: She was in Texas, fundraising.
Pope Francis’ address to Congress is tomorrow, and if his speeches in Washington Wednesday are an indication, Alaska’s congressional delegation is likely to hear the pontiff say things they disagree with. This is especially true for U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, who says he’s not convinced human activity is a major cause of climate change. Sullivan describes himself as a life-long Catholic, and he is getting a double dose of pope this week.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski was absent today for a procedural vote on banning abortion after the 20th week. As her spokeswoman explains it, Murkowski did not intentionally duck the abortion vote, but missed it due to “prior travel commitments.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Thursday challenged National Park and Forest Service officials about the fees they collect from visitors. At a Senate hearing, Murkowski said she “generally” supports the law allowing the agencies to collect fees. But then Murkowski homed in on the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center, in Juneau.
Attorneys for Indian tribes and the Interior Department announced today an agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit for $940 million. It’s a case that dates back to 1994. Since then, until 2013, the department short-changed some 640 tribes that had federal contracts to provide services to their people. Alaska tribes are among those owed money.
The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a bill to transfer 23 acres of federal land in Bethel to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
It’s almost like the White House has a crush on Alaska. First, President Obama visits and gushes in social media about what a great time he had. Then, of dozens of cities honored in a Let’s Move event at the White House, the person organizers chose to introduce the First Lady? Anchorage Assemblywoman and Vice Chair Elvi Gray-Jackson.
Hundreds of environmental groups are uniting under a new banner to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. It’s called: “Keep it in the ground.” They’re asking President Obama to stop new petroleum leases on public lands. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected the idea in a meeting with reporters today.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski is making progress on ending the U.S. ban on crude oil exports. It’s one of her biggest goals as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. But powerful interests are fighting to keep the ban in place.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday failed to get enough votes to advance a resolution rejecting the nuclear accord with Iran. Both Alaska senators say the deal forces the U.S. to concede too much.
The settlement of the Native vote lawsuit comes on the same day as news that Sen. Lisa Murkowski has co-sponsored a bill to revive the Voting Rights Act. Sen. Murkowski is the first Republican to join more than 30 Democratic co-sponsors on an issue that has divided the two parties.
A U.S. District Court judge in Anchorage has ruled against a group from King Cove seeking an emergency road to Cold Bay.
Gov. Bill Walker may call a special session of the Legislature next month to consider the Alaska LNG Project, and a possible state purchase of TransCanada’s share in the gas pipeline.
Alaskans of all stripes came out this week for a chance to shake hands with President Obama, or glimpse his motorcade, but one person not on hand was Don Young, Alaska’s only member of the U.S. House of representatives.