Lisa Murkowski

By: Autumn Horton

Lisa Murkowski

Lisa Ann Murkowski (born May 22, 1957) is the senior United Stats Senator from the State of Alaska and a member of the Republican Party. She was appointed to the Senate in 2002 by her father, Governor Frank Murkowski. After losing a Republican primary in 2010, she became only the third person ever to win a United States Senate election through write-in votes.

Murkowski was appointed to the United State Senate in 2002 and elected to a full term in 2004. Her 2010 re-election grew turbulent when former magistrate judge Joe Miller defeated her in the Republican primary. Murkowski mounted a longshot write-in campaign, winning the general election; the campaign made national headlines. Murkowski is the only current Republican Senator from any West Coast state. Since winning re-election, her voting record has become more moderate when compared to her previous years in the Senate.

Keystone pipeline

The controversial pipeline proposal would bring millions and millions of barrels of oil from Canada's oil sand fields to refineries in the southern U.S. Environmentalists worry about oil sands, which generate more greenhouse than regular crude, and also about pipeline spills in sensitive areas. Murkowski says that "the Canadians have been working hard to make oil sands less carbon intensive, and that the project will create many well-paying American jobs." Will it get built? "I go back and forth on this every day but in the end I think it will," she says. "But if Obama approves it, he may have to block some other project like ANWR to please his supporters in the environmental movement."