Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement today during a hearing on removing barriers to distributed generation and, renewable energy and other advanced technologies. “FERC's existing licensing & relicensing process needs dramatic improvement. It takes too long. It costs too much. Decision making is scattered among different Federal agencies. Impacts of mandated conditions are not taken into account. And the end result is often a reduction of the project's ability to produce power when needed. “Over the next decade, around 200 existing energy projects with a capacity of more than 24-thousand megawatts will come up for relicensing. New projects will also be proposed. Many are located in the power-short West. “We solved this problem for small projects in Alaska by giving the State jurisdiction. While the Federal government has an obligation to make decisions based on the overall public interest, there needs to be a balance. I would support legislation giving FERC full authority to balance competing interests -- so-called ‘one stop shopping.’ “Such a solution has been long-advocated by both Democratic and Republican Chairmen of FERC. But I am aware that this would be controversial. So in the alternative, I support Senator Craig's legislation. Senator Craig's legislation would restore balance by requiring the Federal resource agencies -- the Department of the Interior, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Forest Service -- to consider the economic and energy impacts of the mandatory terms they impose on FERC-licensed projects. This seems entirely reasonable to me. “We’re working to find solutions to this energy crisis and trying to prevent the next. Government should not be part of the problem, it must be part of the solution.” ###