Republican News

WASHINGTON – Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement today calling on state officials to redouble their efforts in the development of the Alaska natural gas pipeline: “Many who are taking an interest in the Alaska gas pipeline are failing to recognize that this gas is Alaska’s. Any strategy to move this gas to market must take into account the interests of the owners – the people of Alaska. “As I said in my in address to the Alaska Legislature, I have been working with the producers and pipelines to bring everyone to the table. At a gas line summit I called earlier this year, we identified the hurdles before us and the steps necessary to overcome them. These efforts are bearing fruit. But the state must be fully engaged and fully involved. “When the debate on the energy bill starts in the coming days, I will be offering significant amendments to make sure that the development of Alaska gas is done in the most environmentally sensitive way possible and provides the greatest benefit to Alaskans. “Once and for all, we will resolve the route and mandate a Southern route. I will work to provide the state with a greater role over in-state gas use so as to maximize the benefits of clean energy for Alaska. In addition, we must work to assure any future development opportunities and discoveries have access to the pipe so we can maintain vibrant exploration and production program. “Most importantly, this project is about jobs. We will provide training for Alaskans and Alaska Natives so that they will be ready to step into the thousands of job opportunities that development and construction will bring. “Right now, U.S. Senate Democrats want to tell Alaskans what we can and cannot do with our gas. Their enthusiasm for Alaska gas doesn’t reach an attempt to distract and divert efforts to open ANWR. Genuine proposals would work with Alaska for the benefit of Alaskans. “Alaska’s natural gas is one big step toward price stability and reduced foreign energy dependence. We’re ready to do our part to ensure America’s energy security. But Alaskans won’t be part of someone’s false promises and political posturing. I urge my colleagues in Alaska to recognize the real scope of the proposals before us.” “We need to see the State a full partner in development efforts. Without their involvement, Alaska’s false friends in Washington will further threaten Alaska’s interests.” -30-