Sen. Murkowski Seeks Comments on Draft Legislation to Create an Energy Trust Fund

July 29, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released a discussion draft of legislation to establish an Advanced Energy Trust Fund, which would significantly boost domestic energy research and be funded exclusively with revenues from energy production on federal lands that are currently off-limits to development. Comments are due by Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

“Our nation has tremendous opportunities to develop new energy technologies and increase federal energy production,” said Murkowski. “My draft Trust Fund offers a simple, straightforward framework through which we can take advantage of those opportunities, develop an energy policy that pays for itself, and generate enduring benefits for American families and businesses.”

The creation of a Trust Fund was one of more than 200 policy recommendations that Murkowski made in Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future, a comprehensive policy blueprint that she released earlier this year.

“This Trust Fund would strengthen our energy security and generate new economic opportunities across the country,” said Murkowski. “In combination with new federal energy production, it would create new jobs, enable scientists to develop new technologies, reduce the cost of energy, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil—without raising taxes or adding to the federal debt.”

Depending on which federal lands are opened to development, the Trust Fund could receive billions of dollars over time. Those funds would be applied to basic and applied research on the most promising technologies in the most promising energy-related fields, with at least 50 percent going to transportation-related technologies each year. Because the Trust Fund would depend on revenues from new production, it would under no circumstance add to the federal debt.     

The discussion draft released today would establish the Trust Fund itself. A finalized version will ultimately be paired with a second title, related to energy production, which would boost America’s energy supply and raise revenues for the Trust Fund. Murkowski plans to introduce both titles as part of one bill – named the “American Energy Innovation and Production Act” – later this year.

The document containing a list of design issues related to the Trust Fund, a summary of Murkowski’s discussion draft, and the full text of the discussion draft can be found here. Her request for comments is part of an effort to ensure a transparent, inclusive process that draws feedback from as many stakeholders as possible prior to the introduction of a Senate bill.  

Comments should be submitted to by Friday, September 6, 2013. Please include your full name, affiliation, and contact information with your submission. Comments should be formatted as plain email text or attached as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) document. Questions may be directed to Brian Hughes, a member of Murkowski’s committee staff, at 202-224-4971.

Murkowski is the senior Senator for Alaska and the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.