U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement on the status of her broad, bipartisan energy and natural resources bill.
“For two years, we have provided a textbook example of how the regular order process is supposed to work for congressional legislation. We began with listening sessions, hearings, and a committee markup last year before moving on to a successful floor debate and a formal conference with the House of Representatives this year.
“During that conference we have held more than 100 bipartisan and bicameral meetings at the staff level. The chairmen and ranking members of the committees of jurisdiction have also met regularly throughout the conference process. And despite some recent assertions that there are many items left to be sorted out, we have now resolved all but two issues for our conference report.
“Both of those issues can easily be resolved, in plenty of time before congressional adjournment, if the will exists in the House to work through them in good faith. In fact, on both issues, the Senate has already written and proposed the modifications we know are necessary to reach final agreement, only to receive no substantive response.
“One of the most critical components of this bill – certainty for LNG export projects – has been part of every offer that the Senate has made to the House. That provision was removed from our bill at the insistence of the House, and the House alone, and we have repeatedly attempted to restore it. Today, there is a clear path forward where LNG can be included in a final package alongside a breakthrough agreement on wildfire budgeting, timber management reforms, sportsmen’s provisions, a west-wide water package, a robust public lands title, the National Parks Centennial, and important nuclear, cybersecurity, hydroelectric, and innovation policies.
“The House may want to claim that this bill cannot move forward because we are running out of time. The reality is that the House is attempting to run us out of time, in order to prevent this bill from moving forward, even though it contains the priorities of dozens of its members. I urge my House colleagues to reconsider and to allow our conference report to come up for a vote before we adjourn.”
Murkowski, the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has worked closely with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to write and advance the first major bill to modernize energy policy and improve public lands management in nearly a decade.