Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) that he would not move an energy bill until next year. “Next year is not soon enough for energy. These are volatile times. To be so dependent on such an uncertain corner of the world places American lives at risk and our economic future in jeopardy. Despite Senator Daschle’s failure to act, I still believe we have an obligation to solve this problem. I remain committed to bringing about a vote on energy – if the leadership will not set a date certain this year, I will use whatever procedural means are available to make that occur. “Just yesterday President Bush explained more of Iraq’s role in harboring terror and discussed their refusal to allow in weapons inspectors. Yet, in the midst of September’s attacks, we imported a record 1.192 million barrels a day of oil from Iraq, the most since July 1990. If Baghdad is our next target after Kandahar, what’s going to happen to that oil? Can we replace it? I hope the American people will understand Senator Daschle’s position that they will just have to wait until next year for relief. “Last week we lost two American sailors who had stopped a tanker smuggling Iraqi oil. Our dangerous reliance on Saddam’s oil is not only putting too many Americans in harm’s way, it further strengthen’s his rule. “With a comprehensive, national energy policy with solutions that begin at home, we can ensure our energy security and our national security. Though the House finished its work long ago, Senator Daschle won’t even let the Energy Committee meet, a clear violation of Senate and Committee rules. “Despite claims that he’ll write a plan and move a solution, Senator Daschle has now announced yet another delay. Senator Daschle’s partisanship is leaving our nation exposed and vulnerable. If we have time to deal with the railroads, we certainly have time to do energy. We’ve heard from a wide variety of groups calling for energy solutions – veterans, unions, small business owners, leaders of the Hispanic community. It’s clear that Senator Daschle is the only one who doesn’t want a solution.” ###