Murkowski Responds to Energy Comments in President Obama's Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today vowed to work with President Obama on improving national security and reviving the economy by increasing domestic production of all forms of energy.
 
President Obama in his national address Tuesday night called for harnessing the power of clean, renewable energy to help the United States lead the 21st century.
 
Murkowski agrees with the president that energy is a top national priority and believes that developing a comprehensive and balanced energy policy is imperative to a strong economy.
 
“We can change our energy economy, but under the most optimistic scenarios we will be dependent on traditional energy sources during our transition,”,” Murkowski said. “We need to develop alternative and renewable energy sources, but we also must make sure that any national energy policy includes provisions that encourage increased domestic production of the resources that we currently rely upon to heat our homes, power our vehicles and grow our economy.”
 
Oil, natural gas and coal met 85 percent of our primary energy needs in 2007, and the Energy Information Administration projects that percentage will decline slowly, to 79 percent by 2030.
 
A natural gas pipeline from Alaska could provide the nation with both an affordable, clean source of energy as well as put thousands of Americans to work in well-paid jobs. Murkowski said.
 
In addition to increasing renewable energy production, Obama voiced support for developing clean coal technology and improving the nation’s transmission system – goals Murkowski strongly supports.
 
Increased energy production – energy of all types – here at home will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign energy, improve national security and put Americans to work, Murkowski said. Increased production of conventional fossil fuels can also help pay for the president’s investment in renewable energy and break-through technologies.
 
“A balanced energy policy needs to be one that provides jobs here at home while protecting working families from skyrocketing energy costs,” Murkowski said. “American energy means American jobs.”
 
Republicans will continue to set out a realistic and forward-looking energy policy for the country. Under Republican leadership in 2005, Congress passed the first comprehensive energy bill in more than a decade. In 2007, we built upon those efforts and worked together with Democrats to craft another sweeping energy bill.
 
“We are hopeful that spirit of bipartisanship will continue, and we intend to aggressively advocate for a comprehensive approach to solving our energy challenges,” Murkowski said.