U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today advanced debate on her broad, bipartisan energy bill by providing a synopsis of how it will benefit her home state of Alaska. She focused on how the bill will help the state produce more energy and help consumers use less energy, creating new opportunities and lowering costs, especially in rural areas.
“The broad, bipartisan energy bill we are considering will help Alaskans produce more energy and more minerals. It will help Alaskans pay less for energy, and it will give our state’s economy a much-needed boost,” Murkowski said. “As Alaskans face some of the highest energy prices in the country, the Energy Policy Modernization Act would promote efforts to spur innovation so Alaskans will be able to do more by using less energy.”
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, highlighted Alaska’s vast energy resources and explained how the bipartisan energy bill would boost hydropower development; harness more of Alaska’s vast geothermal, biomass, and minerals potential; and renew a key program aimed at producing Alaska’s frozen methane hydrates.
“Alaska is an energy producer for the rest of our country and for the rest of the world. That’s our legacy and our future because we are blessed with an abundance of resources that most states and countries can barely dream of. You name the resource, and we have it, usually in vast quantities,” Murkowski said. “As we produce more of our natural resources, Alaskans will benefit significantly. New jobs will be created. New revenues will be generated for our state treasury. And local energy costs will decline sharply allowing Alaskans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”
Promoting energy supply is just one of many ways the bipartisan energy bill will benefit Alaska. Murkowski also highlighted aspects of the bill that would help lower energy costs for Alaskans, including the reauthorization of the weatherization assistance and state energy programs, as well as a provision to promote the development of hybrid micro-grid systems, which allow communities to utilize local resources and storage technologies.
"If this bipartisan bill becomes law, the state of Alaska would be able to apply for a loan guarantee, and then use those funds to help rural communities finance new hydropower projects, geothermal wells, marine hydrokinetic technologies, and hybrid micro-grids,” Murkowski said. “Instead of top-down government driven programs, this and other elements of our broad, bipartisan energy bill are designed to leverage the innovation of Alaskans, the American people, and our private sector to improve our energy landscape.”
Murkowski concluded her remarks urging her Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this broad, bipartisan legislation. She noted that Alaskans benefit from an updated and modernized energy policy as will all Americans.