Economy & Environment

U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

U.S. House panel weighs labor law amendment to protect workers from wage theft

BY: - May 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House lawmakers questioned several labor experts Wednesday before a House Education and Labor panel about how a new bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 would protect workers from wage theft. House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro introduced the bill, H.R. 3712, known as the “Wage Theft Prevention and Wage […]

Fruit is displayed at an Anchorage grocery store. Overall consumer prices in Alaska's largest city were up by an annual rate of 7.5% as of April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Food prices were up by 11.3%. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska inflation similar to U.S. trends, but a sharp departure from recent past

BY: - May 16, 2022

The annual inflation rate for the Anchorage area was 7.5% as of April, nearly matching the annual national rate that was most recently measured at 8.2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. The close match between Alaska and national economic trends is noteworthy, said Neal Fried, a senior economist with the Alaska Department […]

Alaska House rejects $5,500 payout, sends budget to negotiating committee

BY: - May 14, 2022

After three days of delay and doubt about the outcome, the Alaska House of Representatives turned down a Senate-written budget containing $5,500 payments for eligible Alaskans. Those opposed to the budget cited concerns about spending exceeding revenue. The House’s 18-22 vote against the Senate proposal means two different plans will now go to a six-member […]

Alaska House contemplates a multibillion-dollar gamble on oil prices to pay $5,500 per Alaskan

BY: - May 12, 2022

Leading members of the Alaska House of Representatives said on Thursday that the House appears ready to approve a Senate-passed budget that would pay $5,500 this year to eligible Alaskans. They cautioned that the situation remains in flux and could change quickly. On Wednesday and Thursday, Speaker of the House Louise Stutes canceled scheduled votes […]

Nine of the leading candidates seeking to replace the late U.S. Rep. Don Young are seated in alphabetical order at a May 12, 2022 forum in Anchorage hosted by industry groups. The Seated are Nick Begich, John Coghill, Christopher Constant, Al Gross, Jeff Lowenfels, Sarah Palin, Mary Peltola, Josh Revak and Tara Sweeney. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska U.S. House candidates use industry forum to try to stand out in crowded field

BY: - May 12, 2022

The nine candidates at the forum, seated in alphabetical order, faced their own common challenge: distinguishing themselves from other contenders in the very crowded field.

Inlet View Elementary School in Anchorage, shown on April 21, 2022, has longstanding structural problems. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon}

Action needed to address Alaska’s stagnant demographic trends, economist says

BY: - May 12, 2022

More people are leaving Alaska than coming, too few babies are being born to make up the population gap and the state workforce is withering. That presents a tough challenge that demands aggressive policy responses, a university economist argues. “In 2010, essentially, Alaska stopped growing. That’s not the Alaska we all know,” said Ralph Townsend, […]

U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

Democrats from the West push update of 150-year-old federal mining law

BY: - May 11, 2022

Democrats in Congress are hoping to overhaul the nation’s 150-year-old system for mining the elements needed for battery manufacturing, as high gas prices and Russia’s war in Ukraine underline the need to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy sources. U.S. House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich […]

two senators facing each other in the Alaska Senate chambers

Alaska Senate approves $5,500 payout to Alaskans, but it’s not final yet

BY: - May 11, 2022

Alaskans will receive $5,500 and could get it as soon as July if the Alaska House agrees with a budget proposal approved Tuesday afternoon by the state Senate. Senators voted 15-5 to approve what would be the fifth-largest budget in state history and sent the draft to the House for agreement.  If the House rejects […]

Two earthquakes struck the waters off the Alaska Peninsula almost eactly a year apart. The magnitude 7.8 Simeonof earthquake of 2020 is shown in black. The magnitude 8.2 Chignik earthquake of 2021 is shown in purple. Red lines show contours of other major earthquakes in the past. (Illustration from Science Advances)

Recent earthquakes may raise risk of Alaska tsunami, study finds

BY: - May 11, 2022

The dual earthquake action deep underground appears to have increased the risks of future tsunamis in that region, the study said.

An exterior view of the White House is shown on Sept. 13, 2007 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden administration vows to speed up environmental permits needed for infrastructure projects

BY: - May 11, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration will seek to hasten construction of roads, bridges, wind farms and more by tweaking the federal review process for environmental and other permits, administration officials said Tuesday. On a press call, administration officials said they were seeking to make permitting easier without sacrificing environmental standards. The permitting plan is meant to […]

framed photos of Alaska governors hanging in a hallway

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy planning trip to East Asia, letters show

BY: - May 11, 2022

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is planning a trip to East Asia, accompanied by the president of the state-owned corporation backing a trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline, according to letters released in a public records request. The two men are seeking support for the pipeline project, known as Alaska LNG. “All conditions permitting, I plan to travel […]