Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank H. Murkowski today released the following statement after the introduction of the Democrat energy bill: I am pleased to see that Senate Democrats, led by Senators Daschle and Bingaman, recognize the fact that we are in an energy crisis and a response is needed. I congratulate them for following our lead and using the Bipartisan Murkowski/Breaux bill as the guidepost for their legislative efforts and am encouraged that much of their legislation is very similar to our approach introduced several weeks ago. Like our bill, the Democratic bill, provides incentives to increase energy conservation, energy efficiencies and, encourages the use and development of alternative fuel sources. The bill also attempts to address some of the inadequacies in our domestic energy infrastructure through inclusion of some of the provisions in the Murkowski/Breaux bill. Where their efforts fail is in addressing the true needs of the energy resources we are dependent on today for the vast majority of our energy needs. While our approach has been guided by using the energy resources of today to develop the energy technologies of tomorrow, their approach seems to omit the first step in this process. No national energy strategy is complete without a recognition that we can safely balance energy production and environmental protection here at home. Without such solutions, the Democratic bill is comprehensive in name only. In our bipartisan bill, section 29 tax incentives will be used to promote development of unconventional energy sources such as heavy oil in sands, biomass, coal-bed methane, etc. The Democratic bill would extend tax incentives to Exxon, BP and Phillips to develop Alaska’s resources, such as natural gas, that have already been discovered and are currently utilized for reinjection into oil fields. ###