Murkowski urges OCS, public lands energy development

March 17, 2009
11:37 AM
MARCH 17, 2009                                          or ANNE JOHNSON (202) 224-7875                                   
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today reiterated her support for increased development of energy of all types on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf.
At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing, Murkowski urged Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to help increase America’s energy security by lifting restrictions on oil and gas development in the OCS, and boosting renewable energy development on public lands. 
“There’s no reason to let our rich energy resources, both off-shore and on, sit idle while we send money and jobs overseas to meet our energy needs,” Murkowski said. 
Salazar recently announced Interior’s intent to identify renewable energy zones and to prioritize renewable energy development on public lands. Murkowski, however, raised concerns about the unclear definition of what constitutes a “renewable energy zone.”
“It’s increasingly understood and accepted that intermittent renewable resources will require huge supplies of baseload natural gas for those periods when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining,” Murkowski said. “We must be careful to maintain conventional energy supplies in close proximity to these ‘renewable energy zones’ or they might more aptly be called ‘intermittent energy zones.’”
Murkowski said she fully supports efforts to move the nation toward greater use of renewable energy, but, she pointed out, we will continue to rely on conventional oil and gas for years to come.
“I’m concerned that we are trying to pay for the transition to renewable energy by taxing our existing energy production out of existence. That would be shortsighted,” Murkowski said. “What’s needed is greater investment in all types of American energy.”
For further information, please contact Robert Dillon at 202.224.6977 or or Anne Johnson at 202.224.7875 or