Economy & Environment

Sitka-based troller Jeff Farvour fishes last month in the waters outside his home town. (Photo by Max Graham/Northern Journal)

No relief for beleaguered Southeast Alaska trollers as judge rejects request to keep fishery open

BY: - May 30, 2023

A federal judge has rejected a request to allow a staple Southeast Alaska king salmon fishery to proceed this summer while an appeal challenging its court-imposed closure plays out.  Richard Jones, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington state, denied the request by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration to set aside his own ruling from […]

New work requirements for some SNAP recipients included in debt limit deal

BY: - May 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — The holiday weekend debt ceiling deal struck by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy preserves in part new work requirements for some food stamp recipients but now with exceptions for certain populations, including veterans. The agreement released late Saturday night showed concessions from both sides — from GOP members, who wanted […]

The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Supreme Court finds former North Pole refinery owner liable for pollution

BY: - May 30, 2023

The former owner of a North Pole petroleum refinery is financially liable for groundwater pollution that has contaminated drinking-water wells around the refinery, the Alaska Supreme Court said in a ruling published Friday. “While we’re still reviewing the decision in its totality, this is a huge win for the public, for the environment, and for […]


These are Alaska’s priorities for fishery management council

BY: - May 26, 2023

Alaska’s federal fisheries for halibut, pollock, Pacific cod, crab, and other groundfish are economically important at the local, state, and national level.  These fisheries provide an economic base for many of our coastal communities through jobs and income from fishing, processing, industry support services, transportation, and shipping.  Sustainable management of these fisheries is critically important […]

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gives a speech on the economy at Fords Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on Sept. 8, 2022, in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

Treasury secretary pinpoints June 5 as earliest date for U.S. debt default

BY: - May 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress and the Biden administration have until at least June 5 to broker and enact a debt limit bill under new estimates from the Treasury Department, giving negotiators a few more days before the country would default. “Based on the most recent available data, we now estimate that Treasury will have […]

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy signs House Bill 62, permanently extending the state's renewable energy grant fund, on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the conclusion of the second annual Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference in Anchorage. (Screenshot)

Gov. Dunleavy signs bill permanently extending Alaska’s renewable energy grant fund

BY: - May 26, 2023

Gov. Mike Dunleavy closed Alaska’s second annual sustainable energy conference on Thursday by signing legislation that permanently establishes the state’s renewable energy grant fund. The Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 62, from Rep. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, by a combined 53-1 margin this spring, with six lawmakers not voting. The grant fund was established in 2008 […]

U.S. Interior Secretary Debra Harland testifies during her confirmation hearing in February 2021 in Washington, D.C.(Photo by Leigh Vogel-Pool/Getty Images)

Western lands fight erupts over Bureau of Land Management’s conservation proposal

BY: - May 26, 2023

One thing opponents and proponents of a recently proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule agree on: It would be a major shift in how the agency manages nearly 250 million acres of federal lands. The rule would allow for conservation leases, similar to how the agency auctions off parcels of land for mining, livestock […]

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A bill to get nurses licensed more quickly in Alaska faces pushback from unions

BY: - May 26, 2023

Alaska’s nurse shortage is widely acknowledged, but there’s less consensus on how to manage solutions. A bill that aims to get nurses licensed and working faster by joining Alaska in a 40-state nurse licensure coalition is mired in pushback. Hospitals and the state’s nursing board support the legislation, but nursing labor unions oppose it.

Research biologists pause among the wetlands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, with the Brooks Range in the background. During the short field research season, the biologists live and work in this remote camp at the edge of the continent. (Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS)

Alaska has more than half of America’s wetlands. A new ruling could change how they’re managed

BY: - May 25, 2023

A new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court likely exempts large areas of wetlands in Alaska from federal regulation under the Clean Water Act, a decision that has alarmed environmentalists and could speed road construction, mining and other development projects here. The decision, in a case known as Sackett v. EPA, means that the Environmental […]

The Senate approved a resolution, sponsored by West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito, that would revoke the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, for the purposes of federal wetlands regulation under the Clean Water Act. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources)

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

BY: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court in a major environmental decision on  Thursday overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, siding with an Idaho couple who’d said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All nine justices agreed […]

The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Oct. 22, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

What happens in Alaska if the United States defaults on its debt next month?

BY: - May 25, 2023

As soon as June 1, Alaskans may go without Social Security checks, food-stamp payments and even their basic paychecks unless members of Congress agree to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The consequences of America’s first modern debt default aren’t fully known, but the details are slowly becoming apparent, and Alaska is likely to be particularly […]

The need for healthcare workers is not expected to lag, analysts say. Shown here is a nurse in the emergency room at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

States see record low unemployment across the US

BY: - May 24, 2023

Across much of the country, the jobs market is as strong as it’s ever been, and Black women, young people and people with disabilities are among the workers benefiting, recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Twenty states reported an unemployment rate under 3% in April, while 15 states saw record lows, led by […]