Lisa Murkowski on Energy & Oil

Independent Sr Senator (AK)


America has world's largest combined energy endowment

On October 23, 2009, just weeks after cap and trade--a bill that would force Americans into policies of energy austerity--came to the Senate a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) revealed for the 1st time that America's combined recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth.

I requested the report along with Senator Lisa Murkowski because we had grown tired of the Democrats' refrain that America only has 3% of global oil reserves--which, according to this view, meant more drilling and production at home would be futile. The 3% mantra is their bread and butter talking point.

But the non-partisan CRS shows the full, complete, accurate picture of America's resources--and shows that, yes, we can produce our way to energy security.

Knowing what vast resources literally lay at our feet, it seemed all the more outrageous that we were even considering such drastic measures to limit access to these resources.

Source: The Greatest Hoax, by James Inhofe, p.115-116 , Feb 28, 2012

Prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gases

In June of 2010, Senator Murkowski introduced a resolution that would prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the authority of the Clean Air Act. The resolution would allow Congress to overturn regulations from the executive branch by gaining a majority in both the House and Senate.

At a press conference to discuss the resolution, several Republicans came together in opposition to EPA's greenhouse gas regime, even Senator Graham who still believed in his heart that man-made greenhouse gases were leading to catastrophe. I was on the other end of the spectrum as the one who said that man-made catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. Everyone else who was standing up there with me and Senator Graham were somewhere in between. But we all agreed on one thing: EPA regulation of greenhouse gases would be a huge disaster. It would hand the agency the greatest regulatory power in industry.

Source: The Greatest Hoax, by James Inhofe, p.155 , Feb 28, 2012

No regulation of greenhouse gases by EPA

Gov. Joe Manchin today applauded the efforts of Sen. Jay Rockefeller for his recent support to seek legislation regarding the regulation of greenhouse gases and for supporting the "Resolution of Disapproval," initiated by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The governor believes that support of the Murkowski resolution is critical to have a viable future in energy and job sustainability, and that the EPA's actions to impose regulations on greenhouse gases could have dire effects on our economy if enacted.
Source: 2010 West Virginia gubernatorial press release , Jun 9, 2010

Need a president who will sign ANWR

MURKOWSKI: “The key is that we have a president who will sign ANWR this time,” Murkowski said. “It’s so important not to have John Kerry in office.”

KNOWLES: Knowles, who also supports drilling in the refuge, said Republicans have failed because they have not reached across party lines--something he has promised to do throughout his campaign. “We can make great progress,” he said.

Source: AK Senate Debate in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner , Oct 29, 2004

Support fiscal incentives for the natural gas pipeline

Murkowski attacked Knowles for saying he wouldn’t support a bill that included fiscal incentives for the natural gas pipeline, while Knowles berated Murkowski for not including provisions that would have forced Exxon Mobil to pay punitive damages to Alaskans for the 1989 oil spill.
Source: AK Senate Debate, Anchorage Daily News , Oct 27, 2004

Get ANWR with a Republican-led majority

MURKOWSKI: “We needed two votes in the last go-’round [of the ANWR vote]. With a Republican-led majority, you get it on the agenda. We pick up these seats. We have George Bush in office. And we get ANWR next year. That’s the strategy.”

KNOWLES: Instead of trying to push a “partisan, secret, pork-filled bill that’s now lying dead on the floor of Congress,” an Alaska senator needs to seek ANWR through a bill that also sets tougher mileage standards for cars and requires power plants to use a certain percentage of renewable fuels, he said. “That’s the balance that I believe is going to bring about the development of ANWR and the gas line,” he said.

Source: AK Senate Debate, in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner , Oct 20, 2004

Incentives for an Alaskan natural gas pipeline

As part of a Senate energy bill, Murkowski won money for job training, approval for an $18 billion loan guarantee and two tax incentives to reduce pipeline and gas conditioning plant costs. The job training provision alone provides $20 million for Alaska, including $3 million to construct a facility in Fairbanks to house and train pipeline workers.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, LisaMurkowski.com , Jun 30, 2004

Establish an Arctic engineering research center

Murkowski won Senate approval of $3 million a year for five years for an Arctic Engineering Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to study the effects of climate change in the Arctic and to develop ways to better build roads, buildings and other infrastructure to meet these changes.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, LisaMurkowski.com , Jun 30, 2004

Reopening the Healy Clean Coal Plant

Murkowski won Senate approval for a $125 million low-cost federal loan to help retrofit and reopen the Healy Clean Coal Plant to generate power for the Fairbanks area and the Railbelt and to provide needed jobs in Alaska’s coal mines.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, LisaMurkowski.com , Jun 30, 2004

Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Congressional Summary:To prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change. The Clean Air Act is amended by adding a section entitled, "No Regulation of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases". In this section, the term 'greenhouse gas' means any of the following:
  1. Water vapor
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Methane
  4. Nitrous oxide
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons
  7. Perfluorocarbons
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to regulation to address climate change.
The definition of the term 'air pollutant' does not include a greenhouse gas, except for purposes of addressing concerns other than climate change.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5 required)

Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act; Bill Am183 to S.49 ; vote number 11-SV054 on Apr 6, 2011

Voted YES on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.