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Dueling Alaska US Senate press offices vie for spotlight

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
Aaron Jansen illustration

On Friday, when Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell weighed in on updates to Shell's push for oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean next summer, he lauded U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's efforts in helping work the federal channels to open up the area to exploration.

"Thanks largely to Senator Murkowski’s considerable efforts, Congress could soon act to eliminate unnecessary roadblocks to responsible resource development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas," Parnell said in a press release that was titled "Governor Commends Senator's Work on Arctic OCS Legislation."

We're sure Alaska's junior senator, Democrat Mark Begich, also feels like he has helped, though he is not the ranking member of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as is Murkowksi. So perhaps Parnell is right in saying Murkowski is "largely" to thank, especially with her EPA battle.

Still, it reminds us that there has been a bit of a running fight for attention from Alaska's two senators.

Over the past couple of years, we've listened to each senator's staffers gripe about the other taking credit for all sorts of legislation and appropriations, blaming one another for stealing the spotlight. The latter is achieved, apparently, by press releases that they each distribute to reporters, who then write them up and don't always mention the other lawmaker's role in the legislative process.

But it's the holidays, folks, and we want to make sure nobody feels left out. So Sen. Begich: Thank you for everything you do, too. Same to you, Uncle Don -- thank you.