Republican News

Republican News

Highway Bill Conference Report Reflects Effort to Preserve Energy Asset

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released a report on the importance of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) detailing the potential impacts of selling oil from the reserve to pay for unrelated legislative initiatives.

The report, Depleting the Reserve: The Cumulative Impact of SPR Sales and Other Considerations, is the latest of Murkowski’s efforts to raise awareness about the strategic value of maintaining the energy stockpiles, and was a central part in her successful effort as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a member of the joint Senate-House conference on the highway bill to reduce the amount of oil sold from the SPR down to $6.2 billion as a way to partially pay for the five-year highway reauthorization. Murkowski worked with leadership to reduce the amount of the SPR sales to protect the Department of Energy’s ability to pay for needed upgrades to SPR infrastructure.

“The recent series of proposed and enacted drawdowns constitute a fundamental transformation in the purpose and function of the SPR. I am encouraged that the compromise on the highway bill reflects my efforts to preserve the integrity of the SPR. Through most of its history, the theme of the SPR was expansion and preparation for emergencies. In the present discussion, that theme has shifted to depletion and revenue-raising,” Murkowski said. “The SPR was not designed to draw down so much oil so frequently over such a long period of time. All of these issues – the size of the reserve, the integrity of the reserve, and our global standing – should be considered in any discussion related to modernization of SPR.”

Murkowski has long advocated that any drawdown from the SPR be used to fund improvements to the nation’s energy infrastructure. The outcome of the highway bill conference reflects her efforts to ensure the longevity of a U.S. strategic security asset.