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 today regarding Iraq and the need for an energy bill: “Global events have changed significantly since the energy bill first got underway more than a year ago. The growing threat of a restless Saddam Hussein only makes the need for an energy bill more clear. We must understand, he has not threatened to use alternative fuels as a weapon against us. He’s threatening us with oil. Let’s be clear – the world’s 6th largest exporter of crude oil wants to use oil as a weapon to finish what was started on September 11th. He wants to try to bring our economy to its knees. “Increased domestic production must be included if this energy plan is going to help secure our country. And the best and only increase in domestic production on the table is ANWR. It’s unfortunate that in the Senate, ANWR was decided on politics, and not policy. Were it given a fair and honest debate from the outset, I’m convinced we’d be in a very different position today. “We must seek to find middle ground on these issues. We must find an answer on ANWR that recognizes the unique responsibility the Federal government has to the Kaktovik natives who hold title to 92,000 acres there. We can and must find the best way to develop the energy resources of this sliver of Arctic land while protecting the environment. Earlier this year, the USGS released a report that made suggestions on how development and environmental protection could occur – we should look at that report to guide us. We should also carefully consider how we are going to use the billions of dollars in revenue generated by lease sales. “Politics is the art of compromise. There are few greater examples of that art being practiced than a conference committee. If we are unable to reach compromise on all the major aspects of the energy bill, than we have betrayed the job given to us by our constituents and the President – to work together to better secure our nation’s energy supply and better secure our nation. I’m convinced that both sides can reach such an accord.” ###