Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Frank H. Murkowski today released the following statement during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the President’s proposed Department of Homeland Security. “Let me first commend the President for his bold initiative. Defending our Nation – whether abroad or at home – is one of the highest priorities of government. We saw on September 11 that our enemies are real, unscrupulous and deadly. “I have an open mind as to how the new Department should be organized, but there is no question that it should be created. Establishment of the Department of Homeland Security must be a priority of the 107th Congress. “I also want to remind everyone that our growing dependence on foreign energy is equally a threat to our national security. Recall that the 1973 Arab oil embargo brought our economy to its knees when we were 36% foreign dependent. Now that we are 57% foreign dependent the danger to our nation is even greater. As history has often shown us, energy is the difference between the victor and the vanquished. “We can never be entirely energy independent, but we can buy a lot of insurance through increased domestic energy production – oil, natural gas, nuclear, coal and renewables. Thus, we must complete action on the energy legislation that is now in conference. The Senate took a very important step yesterday in ensuring our energy security by approving the Yucca Mountain site to store high-level nuclear waste and spent fuel. This allows clean emission free nuclear energy to continue to provide America with almost 20% of its electricity. “I stand ready to assist the President in this endeavor of ensuring our national security.” ###