Republican News

MURKOWSKI MEETS WITH PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS PROGRESS ON ENERGY BILL CONFERENCE, NEED FOR COOPERATION WASHINGTON – Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released the following statement after attending a meeting with President Bush and several other Members of the House and Senate to discuss the energy conference. “With the prospect of war hanging on the horizon, the President agreed that Congress needs to send him an energy bill that will enhance our energy security and our national security. The President said to us, ‘I want an energy bill and I want ANWR in it.’ “We had a thoughtful discussion about how best to reach a compromise to allow the safe exploration of a small portion of Alaska’s North Slope. The President wants this conference to work through all the issues on the table in the spirit of compromise and bipartisanship. I hope that members of the conference won’t put their own personal positions and ambitions ahead of good policy making. “Our discussion also addressed the gas pipeline. We continue to work with the administration to make the line an economic reality. The President asked that Secretary of Energy Abraham serve as his point person as we work toward moving the energy bill forward. “Increased domestic energy production will not only ensure our energy security, it means jobs for Americans. We’ll need at least 19 new supertankers alone just to handle the increased production from ANWR – that’s thousands of jobs in shipbuilding alone. More than $13 billion has been invested in Russia’s Sakhalin Island oil fields. If ANWR were open today, that $13 billion could have been spent putting Americans to work in American oil fields.” ###