September 8, 2000
12:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - At the request of Chairman Frank H. Murkowski, $1 million was added to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2001 to fund an Office of Arctic Energy as part of the Department of Energy. Murkowski said that the money would be used to open the Office at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska. The bill passed the Senate late Thursday night and will now be sent to a conference committee to work out differences between the approved House and Senate versions. "The Office of Arctic Energy will be especially valuable by providing research and development on various measures that are suited for the unique energy needs that exist in Alaska," Murkowski said. "In addition to helping provide low-cost reliable electric generation for Alaskans, it would provide assistance to explore Alaska’s vast energy resources to help end our country’s reliance on foreign energy. Currently the U.S. gets one fifth of its energy requirements from Alaska in the form of oil. We can do more. By promoting domestic energy production, we can help the U.S. meet its current needs as well as the needs of the growing economy." The Office is being established as part of a plan to improve the ability of national laboratories to achieve their missions through technical collaborations with other organizations, particularly universities and companies near the labs. The Office would promote research, development and deployment of: Electric power technology that is cost-effective and especially well suited to meet the needs of rural and remote areas of Alaska; Alternative energy, including fuel cells, geothermal and wind; Natural gas hydrates, coal bed methane and shallow bed natural gas; Small hydroelectric facilities, river turbines and tidal power; Natural gas development, including gas-to-liquids technology and liquified natural gas (along with associated transportation systems); Enhanced oil recovery technology, including heavy oil recovery, reinjection of carbon and extended reach drilling technologies. ###