Morning Headlamp: “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.” – Vito Corleone

The heat is on…After being diagnosed earlier this month with brain cancer, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cast the decisive vote early Friday morning to defeat the GOP’s last-gasp effort to roll back at least some of the Affordable Care Act in a narrow 49-to-51 vote. While McCain overcame that medical adversity, no Republican senator faced arguably greater political pressure than Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold. Democrats and their allies off the Hill pushed back hard at the Trump administration on Thursday after a report that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke threatened projects important to Alaska in retribution for Senator Lisa Murkowski’s vote against health care legislation. A conservation group that often works with democrats sought internal documents on Zinke’s calls as well as to any others that he may have made to other GOP swing votes on health care.

Repeal and replace redux. The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday asked the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals to indefinitely delay a decision on whether an Obama-era hydraulic fracturing rule is legal until the government repeals and replaces it. Since the process of replacing the rule could take up to five years, the BLM asked the appeals court to leave in place the current ruling by a Wyoming federal district judge, which deemed the regulation illegal, until a new rule comes into effect.

A bridge too far. Lawmakers on Thursday passed a capital budget that drives a knife deeper into two controversial megaprojects and then adjourned their third special session of the year. Even as they were all but killing the Knik Arm Bridge and the Juneau Access road project, they paid for a new effort to study Arctic roads. Supporters say the roads would make it easier to reach resources, but a critic said the roads could become a colossal waste of money. The Legislature approved the delayed capital budget almost four weeks after the July 1 start of the fiscal year, putting up more than $230 million in state funds to draw down $1.2 billion in matching federal funds.

Persily on Politics. Both Senators: John McCain and Lisa Murkowski, are in the center of the political drama playing out in Washington DC, with plot lines that could be straight out of a movie. Larry Persily was the federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation projects and has worked for three governors and advised many state legislators, including Lisa Murkowski. Thursday on KTVA News Extra, he voiced his opinions on the political drama.

Elections matter. With 42 elected offices opening up this fall, Kenai Peninsula residents will have ample opportunity to get involved in local governments. On October 3, voters will elect new members to the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly, board of education, borough mayor’s office, Kenai and Soldotna city councils, and numerous service area boards. For those considering the further step of adding their names to that ballot, here is an overview of how to start.

First Reads:

The Energy 202: Messing with Murkowski may not be illegal, but it sure wasn’t very smart
The Washington Post, Dino Grandoni, July 28, 2017

US court asked to hold off on decision over fracking rules
Associated Press, Tatiana Flowers, July 28, 2017

Democrats vow investigation, lawsuit over ‘political blackmail’ against Murkowski
Politico, Elana Schor and Ben Lefebvre, July 27, 2017

ConocoPhillips earns $199M in 3 months in Alaska as projects near production
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, July 27, 2017

Alaska capital budget passes with $7 million to study North Slope roads
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, July 27, 2017

Larry Persily on political drama in Washington DC
KTVA, KTVA Staff, July 27, 2017

Step on up, take a seat
Peninsula Clarion, Peninsula Clarion Staff, July 27, 2017