Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C.– “Today is the first step in ending America’s dependence on other nations to power our progress,” said Chairman Frank H. Murkowski, R-Alaska at the introduction of the National Energy Security Act of 2001. “Each day, more than 8 million barrels of crude oil must come in from foreign shores. That is a dangerous strategy by anyone’s measure,” explained Murkowski. “This bill spells out a national energy strategy with a critical goal – to finally reduce to 50% the amount of oil we import.” “Through a broad range of balanced proposals, this bill seeks to increase the use of alternative sources, the efficient use of energy, and our own domestic energy supply,” said Murkowski. “At the same time, the bill will help improve the environment through the application of new technologies and lay the groundwork for even greater advances in the future. Altogether the bill can be summed up in one phrase: Using the fuels of today to get to the technologies of tomorrow.” “We are facing high energy costs that are affecting every American family,” said Murkowski. “Times like these call for real solutions, not partisanship. I am pleased that with the support of my colleague from Louisiana, our effort today is indeed a bipartisan one.” “Our legislation provides incentives to increase oil and gas production, which, in turn, will help create jobs and lower energy costs,” said Sen. John Breaux (D-LA). “And providing another $1 billion for the nation’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will help many more Americans pay the high cost of heating or cooling their homes.” The bill is a comprehensive package of proposals. Included is a plan to promote alternative fuel vehicles by extending existing tax credits for flexible fuel and electric vehicles through 2008 and allowing them to travel in car-pool lanes. The bill will encourage increased production of traditional sources of energy but will seek to advance cleaner technologies for those sources in the future through accelerated technology research and development for advanced clean coal technology. It will modify the renewable energy production tax credit to include open-loop biomass, agricultural and animal waste, incremental hydro-power, geothermal, landfill gas, and electricity co-generation from coke, iron or iron ore, and steel. . “It is going to take a team effort to solve this problem,” said Murkowski. “We can’t afford to leave our best players on the bench. That means it is necessary to responsibly open certain parts of Alaska’s Coastal Plain, our nation’s best hope for new domestic exploration. It can be done in an environmentally thoughtful and careful manner and it can replace the oil we buy from Saudi Arabia for the next 30 years.” “For too long, we’ve focused on the symptoms,” said Murkowski. “This bill helps us address the cause. While that takes time, we will be in much better shape in the end.” “This bill is the starting point for what will be an important debate during this session of the 107th Congress,” said Murkowski ###