Alaska may give up on pipeline

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to abandon a centerpiece of former Gov. Sarah Palin's administration: a state-sanctioned effort to advance a major natural gas pipeline.

The measure sponsored by at least five Republican representatives underscored the impatience and skepticism that many lawmakers have expressed about the current process and a belief the state is no closer than it was several years ago to realizing the long-hoped-for line.

It sets up a potential political battle with House Democrats and Palin's successor, Republican Gov. Sean Parnell. Both have expressed support for seeing the process now under way through.

If the legislation succeeds, it was not clear how Alaska would commercialize its prodigious North Slope gas. The pipeline had been seen as a way to help shore up revenue amid declining oil production, create jobs and provide more reliable, affordable energy to Alaskans.

TSA screeners get bargaining rights

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has decided to allow limited collective bargaining rights for transportation security officers.

The decision by the Transportation Security Administration marks an important, if not complete, victory for the two largest federal employee unions that have long pushed for the ability to negotiate on the workers' behalf. Those unions, the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union, are competing to win the support of about 45,000 officers who screen airline passengers and baggage.