U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday sent a letter requesting that the Department of Energy monitor the potential impacts of the International Maritime Organization’s new sulfur standards for marine fuels. The so-called “IMO 2020” standards are set to take effect on January 1, 2020.
Addressed to Dr. Linda Capuano, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the letter states: “As an Alaskan, I will always remain vigilant about unique consequences for the good people who live in rural and remote areas in my state. You know better than most that energy prices in a state like Alaska are typically quite higher than in the Lower 48. For that reason, negative Alaska-specific impacts are sometimes difficult to isolate from national impacts that may be positive overall.”
Murkowski did not call for a delay or halt in the implementation of the standards, which will have substantial global health benefits. Instead, she requested that EIA “closely monitor implementation of IMO 2020 with a careful eye to the unintended consequences and disparate impacts” the standards could have, especially in the presence of unexpected dynamics in global oil markets.Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.