Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Frank H. Murkowski, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee released the following statement today during a hearing to protect the nation’s energy supply and security. “Republicans stand ready to work to move comprehensive energy legislation to the full Senate for consideration prior to the August recess. But we will seek to make sure it is a balanced approach - balancing production, conservation & efficiency. “Affordable, plentiful, reliable energy provides the basis for our security. National security to ensure our country won't be held hostage by the whims of a foreign leader. Economic security to foster growth and continued expansion. Job security to keep Americans at work and help create more jobs. Personal security to live our lives as we choose in safety. What happens when stop lights go dark? When streetlights don’t turn on? “Since 1973, our economy has grown 126%, while energy use has grown only 30% — clearly, we are getting more efficient. However, even with increased efficiency, over the next 20 years: oil consumption will grow 33 percent; natural gas consumption will be up by over 50%; and electricity demand will increase 45%. “We must be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Ten years ago, the Congress grappled with another energy bill. At the time, the bill that passed through the Committee included production, efficiency, and conservation, including ANWR and CAFÉ fuel economy standards. When it was signed into law, only low flush toilets remained. Congress didn’t have the fortitude to address a real energy strategy. Since that effort, more access to energy resources in the U.S. have been closed. I am troubled that as we fall deeper into an energy crisis, we are willing to take more of our own solutions off the table. “ANWR is perhaps the best example of this. In more than 30 federal refuges from coast to coast, we safely explore for resources. There are 400 wells in Louisiana refuges alone. The balanced use of federal lands is commonplace. In refuges, it’s the norm. ANWR – as a refuge – is no different. It is possible for energy and the environment to co-exist. “Alaskans are proud and protective of the environment – willing to do our part to end the energy crisis. The Alaskans who live there – the people who must breathe the air, drink the water, and make the decisions about their communities – support exploration. “We are faced with a choice – continue our dangerous dependence on foreign energy or count on homegrown solutions. We’ve got the best technology in the world. The best engineers. Each time we take another acre off the table, we take another step toward depending on foreign governments to power our progress. This puts our security at risk – I’m not willing to take that gamble.” ###