Senator Murkowski's E-newsletter for the week of September 26, 2011

Murkowski Pushes Jobs, Debt Reduction during House ANWR Hearing

Last week, I testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources about the vast potential of oil and gas development in the non-wilderness area of ANWR. Development would help address three of America’s key concerns: it would create jobs, reduce the deficit and increase our energy security. Responsible production of the more than 10 billion barrels of oil estimated to be in the ANWR coastal plain would deliver hundreds of billions of dollars to the federal treasury without raising taxes or cutting a single program. Energy, revenue and jobs – ANWR clearly offers us a win-win possibility.

Instead of working with Alaskans to deliver these benefits for the country, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sought out ways to lock up more Alaska land by attempting to designate new wilderness areas. When an agency’s response to our current debt and jobs crisis is to seek more ways to keep money buried in the ground, I believe our priorities have spun out of the realm of rationality. Allowing energy production on the ANWR coastal plain could result in almost $300 billion in federal revenue. Consider what that amount of money could pay for; consider what programs it would allow us to preserve. It’s time we take full advantage of the promise our resource rich state can provide.

To view my full testimony to the House Committee, click here.


Murkowski to Super Committee: "Go Big, Go Bold"


Earlier this month I joined 35 of my Senate colleagues at a bipartisan press conference to show our support and encourage the work of the 12 member “Super Committee” that has been given the difficult task of laying out a deficit and debt reduction plan for this country.  We also shared our thoughts about an even more aggressive path forward than originally envisioned and laid out our beliefs that a deficit reduction plan should:

  • Include enough deficit reduction to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, put the debt on a downward path, and provide fiscal certainty – with a reasonable target being at least $4 trillion.
  • Use the established, bipartisan debt and deficit reduction frameworks as a starting point for discussions.
  • Focus on the major parts of the budget and include long-term entitlement reforms and pro-growth tax reform.
  • Be structured to grow the economy in the short, medium and long-term.
  • Work to include the American public and the business community in a broader discussion about the breadth of the issues, challenges and opportunities facing America.

To view my message to the “Super Committee” click here.

Bipartisan Senate Ocean Caucus 

I am pleased to announce the creation of the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus, where I will serve as Co-Chair with my colleague Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to educate and inform others on the importance of our oceans. We know more about outer space than we know about our oceans, and I am committed to working with the other members of the caucus to change that.

With 18 members, we will have the opportunity to share our regional expertise and to learn more about the coastal regions throughout the United States, while also educating others on such issues as the importance of ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, fisheries policy, ocean science, and coast resource management to name just a few.

Alaska has more coastline than the other states combined and is the only state that borders two oceans, so the work from this caucus hits home – and I will seek results for our state’s economy and people.

For video of the press conference click here.

Murkowski Supports Pilots Bill of Rights

Earlier this year, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the Pilots Bill of Rights (S. Bill 1335), legislation I co-sponsored with 35 other senators. The Pilots Bill of Rights grants aviators greater transparency in their interactions with the FAA and would help foster a better relationship between the two.  I have joined my colleagues in sending a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, and Justice Committee asking for a hearing and markup on this legislation. More than any other state, Alaskans take to the air.  This much-needed bill will make the skies safer and our pilots better informed.

Snapshots from Capitol Hill

Sen. Murkowski was honored to meet one of the twelve U.S. Air Force Airmen of the Year, Sgt. Raven Taylor, who earned this honor for her work at Eielson AFB. Sgt. Taylor received a statement Senator Murkowski included in the Congressional Record acknowledging her accomplishments.


Sen. Murkowski with Military Spouse of the Year Sarah Greenlee, husband USAF Lt. Col.Paul Greenlee and family. The Greenlee family was previously stationed at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, and are now stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI.


Sen. Murkowski met with the new Commander of U.S. Army Pacific, Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski.

Members of the Airline Pilots Association with Sen. Murkowski, in Washington D.C. for their annual conference.


Sen. Murkowski with Sheryl Weinburg and Terri Dierick from the Southeast Regional Resource Center.

Alaska Principals of the Year Karen Gaborik of Lathrop High School in Fairbanks and Lisa Prince, Principal at Central Middle School of Science in Anchorage with
Sen. Lisa Murkowski.