Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

Democrats on US House committee move anti-drilling ANWR bill

A bill to close the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling cleared the House Resources Committee Wednesday. The bill is unlikely to become law, but the session offered Congress members a chance to argue their case, and some did so loudly.

Mine opponents ask SEC to investigate Pebble’s parent company

Two groups allege Northern Dynasty Minerals has described a massive deposit to potential investors while Pebble's permit application describes a mine barely a tenth that size.
Marijuana for sale at a dispensary in California. (Photo: Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons)

Pot could leave black mark on immigration cases

Federal immigration authorities issued a “policy alert” about cannabis. It's causing a stir among Alaska immigration attorneys and exposes a gulf between federal policy and Alaska values on what constitutes “good moral character.” 

Interior delays offshore drilling plan, citing judge’s decision

The Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic and throughout U.S. coastal waters is on indefinite hold.

Alaskans greet Mueller report with shrugs, nods and dismay

We went to a Fred Meyer parking lot in Midtown Anchorage to ask Alaskans what they think of the Mueller report.

Glennallen man selected to lead Denali Commission

The U.S. secretary of Commerce has appointed Jason Hoke of Glennallen to be the commission’s federal co-chair.

Final Pebble hearing draws mix of views

A sizable minority of speakers - maybe one in three - argued in favor of the mine, saying the state needs the jobs. Others, like Emily Taylor, said the mine threatens the salmon runs of Bristol Bay.

AG Barr to visit rural Alaska

"Alaska Native women ... face unacceptably high levels of violence in very remote areas and I’ve actually scheduled a trip up to Alaska specifically to visit some of these communities,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said at a Senate hearing.

Rep. Young shoves reporter on way to VAWA vote

Congressman Don Young has apologized for shoving a female reporter at the U.S. Capitol today. He was on his way to vote for the Violence Against Women Act.

VAWA bill would create limited ‘Indian Country’ for 5 Alaska tribes

The Violence Against Women Act renewal bill would allow up to five Alaska tribes territorial jurisdiction in their villages to prosecute domestic abuse and other crimes, whether the accused is a tribal member or not. 

Judge deals blow to King Cove road

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason has thrown out the Interior Department's land exchange agreement for the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, a deal intended to allow for a road to connect King Cove to Cold Bay.

Interior secretary nominee faces jabs over prior lobbying work

David Bernhardt has a lot of experience at the Interior Department. He has also represented the oil industry as a lawyer and lobbyist, and that drew a masked troll to his confirmation hearing Thursday.

Which Native voices? On Arctic Refuge, lawmakers practice selective listening

It's all about who you ignore. Rep. Don Young told his colleagues to disregard the anti-drilling Gwich'in witnesses while pro-development Inupiat witnesses accuse Democrats of erasing them from the land that's been their home for thousands of years.

Sullivan on Mueller report: ‘There’s no evidence of collusion. It’s over.’

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan says Attorney General William Barr's summation of the Mueller report clears President Trump and closes a chapter.

Chief justice: Dunleavy has to choose a judge from the list

"The governor must appoint one of the candidates nominated by the council," the chief justice wrote, referring to the Alaska Judicial Council. The council screens applicants for judicial vacancies and sends a list to the governor. Gov. Dunleavy's decision not to select anyone for one judicial vacancy puts the state in uncharted waters.

China, Russia find common cause in Arctic

China and Russia are teaming up to pursue their interests in the Arctic, and regional security expert Rebecca Pincus says the United States needs to pay more attention. “We need to play a shaping role in this region. It’s our backyard," she said.

Judge says BLM must reassess climate impacts of oil leases

The ruling stems from a challenge to lease sales in Wyoming, but if it stands, it could complicate the Trump administration’s effort to produce more petroleum from public lands. Opponents of ANWR drilling say the BLM's analysis of the climate impact of leasing there is inadequate, too.

Green New Deal? Murkowski says no, opts for middle way on climate

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is talking about global warming more than ever. While the Green New Deal is a lightning rod in Congress, Murkowski says she's reaching for what's politically possible. In a word: "Innovation."

Murkowski votes to block Trump’s emergency; Sullivan votes opposite

Alaska's U.S. senators split on the vote Thursday to block President Trump's declaration of an emergency. If Trump prevails with a veto, Alaska could lose military construction projects as money is diverted to build a wall on the southern border.

Enviro group says Interior hid gaps in ANWR science

An environmental group has published 18 leaked memos by government scientists that outline gaps in knowledge about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The public comment period for oil and gas lease sales in the refuge ends Thursday.