Republican News

WASHINGTON – Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement after Senator Daschle introduced the second Democrat energy bill of this session of Congress: “It is encouraging to see the Democrat leadership acknowledge the critical role energy policy plays in ensuring our national security. But I am absolutely dismayed at the partisanship that has gone in to putting this bill together. Every step of the way, the Republicans and many Democrats haven’t been allowed to share their ideas. With the Energy Committee long since shut-down, we cannot expect a public hearing, let alone a chance to mark-up the bill.” “It appears the Democratic leadership is trying to perfect the art of introducing partisan energy bills – they’re giving themselves plenty of practice. To mark their 6 month anniversary since taking control, they’re introducing their second energy bill in 10 months. But I’m hard pressed to figure out what’s changed between the two bills other than the fact they have dropped the CAFÉ provision. “Senator Daschle has not said when the Senate will vote on any energy bill. He may want to start debate in January but when will it conclude? A week? A month? Horse races are won at the finish line, not in the starting gate. “At the last bill introduction in March Senator Daschle said, ‘America is faced with a grave energy problem that will get worse if we do not act. This bill addresses our energy problems head-on.’ He was right. The problems have gotten worse and our energy dependence has increased because this issue hasn’t been addressed.” “The Democrat bill includes provisions dealing with the development and transportation of natural gas owned by the State of Alaska. These provisions were developed behind closed doors and without consultation from Alaska’s Congressional delegation or Democratic Governor. It is one thing for the Majority Leader to take issue with the strong support of Alaskans to develop federal land in Alaska. It is quite another for the Majority Leader to dictate to Alaskans how state-owned resources will be developed.” ###