July 29, 2001
12:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - “Runaway energy prices are costing American workers their jobs,” said Senator Frank H. Murkowski, Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “From the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest, high energy prices threaten the job security of America’s working families.” “We must work hard to turn job losses into job creation,” Murkowski said. During the month of June the nation saw the loss of 114, 000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing. Also affected were support industries like transportation and wholesalers, who store and sell manufactured goods. He noted that Northwest Airlines recently announced that it is cutting nearly 1,500 jobs nationwide and International Paper would be cutting 3,000 jobs because of high energy costs. Aluminum plants in the Northwest have shut their doors after they found it more profitable to resell low cost electricity from long term contracts. The problem is widespread – 54 companies had mass layoffs in Wisconsin in May while Oregon alone has had 7,000 employees laid off since last summer. “There is something we can do. A solution is at hand. Congress can pass the President’s comprehensive, balanced National Energy Plan. The plan includes more than 100 specific recommendations that will increase conservation, improve efficiency, and domestic supplies of energy. It will directly create more than 1.5 million jobs while easing energy costs on our economy nationwide.” “The plan also allows for the safe exploration of energy under a small portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This exploration alone will provide over 700,000 jobs nationwide. Congress has the power to put the American people to work,” said Murkowski. “Our security depends on energy. Whether it be our economic security for the future, our personal security at home, or our national security on the world stage, our security depends on abundant, reliable, and affordable energy.” The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a comprehensive energy bill this week and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is set to begin marking-up their own version of an energy bill Wednesday. ###