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Liz Ruskin, APRN

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

Murkowski Swings at Obama’s Arctic Wilderness Plan But Misses

Sen. Lisa Murkowski today failed to land her first counterpunch at the Obama administration’s new Arctic conservation policies. The Senate rejected an amendment that would’ve put a time limit on wilderness study areas.

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January 28, 2015

Murkowski Swings at Obama’s Arctic Wilderness Plan But Misses

Sen. Lisa Murkowski today failed to land her first counterpunch at the Obama administration’s new Arctic conservation policies. The Senate rejected an amendment that would’ve put a time limit on wilderness study areas.

January 28, 2015

Obama Withdraws 9.8m Acres of Arctic Ocean

President Obama is withdrawing 9.8 million acres of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas from future oil and gas lease sales. Sen. Lisa Murkowski describes it as a gut punch to Alaska’s economy. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell says the withdrawals are limited to small areas of the Beaufort, a 25-mile buffer along the Chukchi Coast and the area around the Hanna Shoal.

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January 27, 2015

Sullivan: Alaskans Dream Big, Breathe Air ‘Bathed in Promise’

In his first Senate speech, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan today spoke in support of the Keystone Pipeline. His sweeping address went on to discuss the American dream, and what he describes as the Obama Administration’s threat to it. Sullivan says the dream is still alive in Alaska. “In Alaska, the very air you breathe is bathed in promise,” Sullivan said. “The people still speak the language of bold ideas, and rugged adventure.”

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January 27, 2015
Murkowski Says Obama Plans 3 Gut Punches to Alaska Economy This Week

Murkowski Says Obama Plans 3 Gut Punches to Alaska Economy This Week

Alaska’s governor and congressional delegation are furious over President Obama’s announcement this weekend that he’s seeking wilderness status for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That would put the area off-limits to oil and gas development. Permanent wilderness designation would require congressional approval, and this Republican-led Congress is unlikely to grant it. But that’s just the start of what Obama has in store for the state in the coming days.

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January 26, 2015

Walker, Delegation Irked By President’s ANWR Proposal

President Obama is proposing the largest ever wilderness designation in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would forever put the coastal plain off-limits to oil and gas development.

January 26, 2015

Murkowski, Sullivan Agree Climate is Changing but Split on Naming Cause

Both of Alaska’s U.S. senators voted for an amendment saying climate change is real and not a hoax. The rub came on amendments declaring a cause.

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January 23, 2015

Murkowski to Deliver GOP Weekly Address

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski will deliver the next Republican weekly national speech on Saturday. It’s the party’s response to the president’s weekly radio address.

January 23, 2015

Sullivan to Chair Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has been named chairman of the subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, part of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Its jurisdiction includes oversight of the Clean Water Act, wetlands, the Endangered Species Act, invasive species and National Wildlife Refuges.

January 22, 2015

Sullivan Starts Committee Work With a Pile-up

Just this week, the U.S. Senate got started with committee work, with most panels holding their first hearings. All four of Sen. Dan Sullivan’s committees met Wednesday, colliding in a scheduling pile-up that’s typical in Congress. To get by — and be effective — requires skill in the art of Senate juggling.
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January 22, 2015

Obama Issues Executive Order on Arctic Co-ordination

President Obama today issued an executive order aimed at coordinating federal action on the Arctic. The order establishes a new Arctic executive steering committee. It will have some two dozen members, including deputy secretaries from the departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security and Interior. Among the stated goals is to better collaborate with the State of Alaska and Alaska tribes.

January 21, 2015

Sen. Sullivan Weighs In On State of the Union Topics

President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress is Tuesday night, but the White House has been offering previews of his main proposals for weeks. Alaska’s new Republican Senator, Dan Sullivan, said before the speech he was expecting to hear an overly rosy depiction of unemployment.

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January 20, 2015

Murkowski Gains a Second Gavel and Boosts Leverage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski already chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, but today she was also named chairman of the Interior subcommittee of the Appropriations panel. The double-barrelled influence over the Department of Interior is “somewhat unprecedented,” she says.

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January 20, 2015

Keystone XL: Bad for Alaska Crude?

The fight over the Keystone XL Pipeline is likely to heat up in Congress this week. Senate Bill 1 would permit the pipeline to cross the Canadian border into Montana, moving Alberta tar sands oil. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as the new chairman of the Energy Committee, is leading the Republican charge. But, some Alaskans say she’s pulling for the wrong project.

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January 19, 2015

Board Reverses Suspensions Of Former-Sen. Stevens Prosecutors

A review board has reversed the suspensions of two federal attorneys accused of withholding evidence in the prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens. The Merit Systems Protection Board ruled this month that the Justice Department bungled the disciplinary process against the two prosecutors.

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January 15, 2015
In Underground Rooms, Sullivan’s Senate Office Takes Shape

In Underground Rooms, Sullivan’s Senate Office Takes Shape

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, like other Republicans in Congress, is on a two-day retreat in Hershey Penn. Speakers include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Jay Leno. Meanwhile, Sullivan Chief of Staff Joe Balash provides a status report on new hires and how long he expects they’ll work in their underground office.

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January 14, 2015

Northern Dynasty Seeking New Business Partner

Northern Dynasty, the company that owns the proposed Pebble Mine, is bolstering its financing as it looks for a new partner.

January 14, 2015

‘Hire More Heroes Act’ Passes U.S. House Unanimously

Despite the fierce fights waged in Congress over the Affordable Care Act, a bill to loosen the employer mandate sailed through the U.S. House last week.

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January 13, 2015

Young, Credited With Effectiveness, Says Personality is Part of his M.O.

Alaska Congressman Don Young was sworn in today for his 22nd term, having missed the main swearing-in last week due to the death of his brother. Recent research by two political scientists say Young is one of the 20 most effective lawmakers in the U.S. House. Nationally, though, he is more known for his big, sometimes brash personality. Young says that’s how he likes it.

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January 12, 2015
Murkowski Foresees Accord, But Sparks Fly at First Hearing

Murkowski Foresees Accord, But Sparks Fly at First Hearing

today . The committee promptly passed the first priority of the Republican leadership: a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada through Nebraska. Murkowski also outlined what she wants the committee to accomplish, which she distilled it down to a bumper sticker: “Energy is good.”

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January 8, 2015