A U.S. House Committee passed legislation on Thursday, June 2, that would speed up the permitting process for Shell Oil to drill off Alaska’s coast. The bill pushed by Republicans gained the support of five Democrats and passed the Energy and Commerce Committee 34 to 14. It would force the Environmental Protection Agency to move on permits, and would loosen air pollution standards for offshore drilling projects.
Fuel Prices to Rise in Bethel, Lawmakers Scramble as Coastal Management Program Begins Shutdown, Washington DC Turns Attention to Alaska’s Other Minerals, an Iditarod Veteran Missing in Talkeetna, and more...
The shutdown of Alaska’s Coastal Management Program is underway, even as some lawmakers continue to work behind the scenes to save it. Employees with the Division of Coastal and Ocean Management received layoff notices on Thursday. That followed letters on Tuesday to coastal districts and state agencies that participate in the program, informing them their federal grants had been terminated.
Alaska is often mentioned as rich in oil and gas and deposits of gold, but today in Washington, the state’s potential for mining of rare earth elements took center stage. The valuable minerals are used in all sorts of industries, and Congress wants the U.S. to start producing more.
Governor Parnell Wants Changes to Oil-Taxes; Wildfires Sweep Through the Interior; and Joe Miller’s Sea Voyage
This week, they will take a closer look at Governor Parnell's call for changes to Alaska's oil-taxes; wildfires striking Interior Alaska, Joe Miller's upcoming sea voyage; an update on the Coastal Zone Management Program; Sarah Palin visits historical sites on her way to New Hampshire; parking enforcement changes in Anchorage; reapportionment in the Legislature; Pete Kott may need to return for a new trial; and what surprises may be revealed with the release of Sarah Palin's emails.
A ballot measure to stop any mining activity that damages salmon streams in the Lake and Peninsula Borough has been certified to be put before the voters. Owners of the Pebble mining claims have asked the courts to over-rule the certification, saying it would unconstitutionally restrict the powers of the Borough government.
Natural Resources Commissioner Educates Washington DC About Alaska, Abuse Victims Take Case to Federal Court, Fire Risk in Fairbanks Decreases, Weather May Help Fight Hastings Wildfire, and more...
Alaska’s Commissioner of the Natural Resources Department was in the nation’s capital today, playing a role very familiar with Alaskan politicos: educating Washington about home.
The retreating ice has increased traffic in the Arctic Ocean raising the need for the Coast Guard to look at improving its oversight and rescue capabilities in the region. Tuesday, Admiral Tom Osteobo, head of Alaska’s Coast Guard operations, headed north on a C-130 with media in tow, to take a look around.
Medicare eligible-elders would be able to negotiate private contracts with doctors under new legislation proposed by Senator Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski says Senate Bill 1042 called the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act would allow patients to see any physician they choose, even if that doctor has opted out of taking Medicare patients.
The Interior Department is backing away from a plan to make millions of acres of undeveloped land in the west eligible for federal wilderness protection. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the announcement in a memo today to the director of the Bureau of Land Management.
Efforts to get an offshore oil and gas drilling rig up to Cook Inlet continue to run into snags. One has made it as far as Canada, but it's not clear what it going to happen to it next.
Alaska’s Congressman Don Young says he applauds last night’s stand in the U.S. House not to raise the debt limit until the nation’s budget problems are dealt with, but he says politicians – including Republicans – are going about solving the fiscal woes all wrong.
The President’s new pick to head the Commerce Department, John Bryson, quickly drew fire from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. Bryson was head of the largest utility in the U.S., but what Murkowski objects to is the fact that he was one of the founders of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Alaska Representative Don Young voted last night with the rest of U.S. House Republicans against raising the debt ceiling. But he’s skipping a meeting this morning between the House GOP and the President to talk over debt and the budget. His staff did not give a reason.
Alaska’s future role in Missile Defense, the treatment of our veterans, the federal role in oil and gas development and coastal zone management are among the issues Senator Mark Begich has been working on.
This fall the Anchorage Police Department will hold its an officer training academy. It’s been a couple of years since the last one and the time lapse has in part prompted the department to lengthen the application period.
The top official from the Department of Veterans Affairs spent Memorial Day afternoon in Rural Alaska. Secretary Eric Shinseki traveled to the Bering Sea Village of Kwigillingok to get a better understanding of what it will take to care for veterans in the remote reaches of Alaska.
A federal court has issued its final judgment for reinstating roadless protections for the Tongass National Forest. It overturns an exemption put in place by the Forest Service under the administration of George W. Bush.
Wednesday, an official from the Transportation Security Administration will meet with Alaska social service providers in an effort to find ways to make airport security procedures less intrusive and traumatic. The TSA is responding to prodding from Senator Mark Begich, who has called TSA officials on the carpet a few times in Washington.