WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today spoke about the importance of exploring the full potential of America’s unconventional natural gas resources at today’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.
“We’ve witnessed game-changing technological innovations that have unlocked tremendous volumes of previously inaccessible natural gas,” Murkowski said. “These resources are already benefitting our nation by further diversifying our energy supplies, growing our economy and creating thousands upon thousands of well-paying American jobs.”
Tuesday’s hearing focused on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s Shale Gas Production Subcommittee 90-day report on environmental and safety challenges related to shale gas development.
“Greater use of natural gas would move our nation in the right direction in terms of energy security, economic growth and environmental protection,” Murkowski said. “Those are three vitally important goals, and every one of them is achievable right now.”
The subcommittee’s report made a number of recommendations, including improving communication and transparency among state and federal regulators, air and water quality improvements and better mitigation and management of potential impacts on communities.
Murkowski’s full statement is below:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for scheduling this hearing – and a special thanks to all of our witnesses for joining us today.
“I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to our friend Dan Yergin, who recently authored a new book about global energy called "The Quest." Several of my staff have picked up copies and their reviews are quite positive so far. I understand it includes a chapter on shale gas, and how that resource will continue to factor into just about every major energy decision we will have to make in the coming years.
“I appreciate the chance to learn more about the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s recent report, and to spend some time thinking about the future of one of our nation’s most promising resources. Natural gas is clean-burning and abundant; it’s well understood and scalable; and it’s clearly in our best interest to take steps to ensure that we maintain a stable and affordable supply into the future by encouraging its safe and responsible development.
“And that’s the point of our being here – while this hearing doesn’t mean our Committee endorses or even agrees with everything in this report, it certainly confirms the importance of the subject and the reality that the report embraces. We’ve witnessed game-changing technological innovations that have unlocked tremendous volumes of previously inaccessible natural gas. These resources are already benefitting our nation by further diversifying our energy supplies, growing our economy, and creating thousands upon thousands of well-paying American jobs.
“I think it's important to remember that success stories in the energy world have historically involved ingenuity and innovation by a few, where many have seen impossible challenges. Whether we’re talking about constructing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or, as we'll discuss today, cracking the code on how to economically and safely develop our unconventional gas resources.
“America should encourage and allow for this kind of ingenuity and innovation in the private sector, and we should look for the same individuals to overcome the challenges that crop up with all of the activity surrounding such a great level of development.
“As I have said many times before, responsibly developing all of our resources is of paramount importance to us, as a nation, and natural gas is no exception. We cannot realize the many benefits of our tremendous natural gas resource unless we commit to safe, environmentally acceptable production and delivery, within a framework of appropriate regulation and access. I welcome the efforts of the SEAB Subcommittee to proactively find ways to increase transparency and improve the efficiency of the extraction process.
“Mr. Chairman, I’ll conclude by thanking you again for scheduling this hearing. Many of our members, myself included, are champions of natural gas. Greater use of natural gas would move our nation in the right direction in terms of energy security, economic growth, and environmental protection. Those are three vitally important goals, and every one of them is achievable right now.
“With that, I look forward to today’s testimony.”
For further information, please contact Robert Dillon at 202.224.6977 or Robert_dillon@energy.senate.gov or Megan Hermann at 202.224.7875 or Megan_Hermann@energy.senate.gov.
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