Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Frank H. Murkowski, the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released the following statement at a committee hearing on America’s needed electric infrastructure and reasonably priced electricity. “Regulatory uncertainty and NIMBY-ism (Not In My Backyard) are compounding already complicated engineering issues and long construction times. If we want to meet the energy demands of tomorrow, we must make the right decisions today. “It is painfully clear that the necessary decisions are not being made. In the West, tens of thousands of megawatts from powerplants have been delayed or cancelled. California needs new transmission to import power, but insolvent utilities can not build. East Coast utilities face local resistance to needed electric transmission and gas pipelines. Connecticut is blocking an electric line across Long Island Sound. “State and federal power regulators are acting in ways that create uncertainty for many power providers and their markets. California is blaming the energy industry for problems the State created. I would advise that FERC get on with the investigations it has under way and conclude them expeditiously. Until that cloud is removed, investment dollars are not likely to find their way to new power generation so badly needed. As the nation deals with these problems, we are reminded that electricity is but a symptom of a much larger problem. “We must increase all types of domestic energy, particularly oil and natural gas. Our success at meeting tomorrow’s demands rises and fall on the important actions we take today. “We must not ignore the powerful warning signs. Much of our imported oil comes from dangerous, politically unstable and uncertain regions of the world with energy policies decided by kingdoms, cartels and dictators. Our dependence on foreign oil is at an all time high, and continues to grow. New electric power plants are almost all gas fired, but where is the supply going to come from if we don’t allow domestic production. “The nation is faced with many important decisions that will affect us for generations to come. I hope we have courage to act, and address our energy shortfalls to keep America moving.” ###