Lisa Murkowski is Alaska’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate and the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee. Sen. Murkowski has served on the energy committee since joining the Senate in 2002, and was the committee’s ranking Republican member from 2009 through 2014.
Sen. Murkowski is only the sixth person to represent the state of Alaska in the U.S. Senate. Before coming to Congress, she served three terms in the Alaska House of Representatives. As a senator she has focused on strengthening the nation’s energy policies as an issue of paramount importance to the good of Alaska and the country as a whole.
A recognized leader in Congress on energy and public lands policy, Sen. Murkowski follows the principle that all energy is good and has pursued policies to make America’s energy more abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure. Sen. Murkowski recognizes that a sound national energy policy promotes not just job creation and economic growth, but also a higher standard of living and global stability. She supports the safe and efficient production and use of all forms of domestic energy, as well as research to develop emerging energy technologies. She has been an advocate for the free trade of America’s strategic energy resources, including increased exports of liquefied natural gas and ending the 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
In early 2013, Murkowski crafted a comprehensive policy blueprint, Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future, which provides a detailed picture of the nation’s energy outlook and recommends long overdue reforms. Sen. Murkowski has since added to that blueprint with papers on the economic and energy security benefits of increased international trade of energy commodities, the problem of energy insecurity in America, the link between energy and water, and challenges facing electric reliability.
Chairman Murkowski’s approach to energy policy was shaped by her upbringing in Alaska, a state with unparalleled natural resources but also the highest energy costs in the nation. While most think of Alaska as an oil-producing state, it also has tremendous potential in natural gas, coal, hydropower, biomass, geothermal, marine hydrokinetic, methane hydrates, and wind – not to mention prolific deposits of a wide range of metals and minerals.
Sen. Murkowski holds a BA in economics from Georgetown University and a law degree from Willamette University College of Law. She is married to Verne Martell, with whom she has two sons, Nicolas and Matthew.