Committee Reviews U.S. Energy and Resource Security

Energy Security Has Increased Dramatically; Concerns over Nuclear Energy and Minerals

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing held by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to examine the status of U.S. and North American energy and resource security. The hearing examined everything from the significant benefits that have resulted from the elimination of the domestic ban on crude oil exports in December 2015 to the need to maintain U.S. nuclear leadership and improve our waning mineral security.  

Murkowski opened the hearing by recognizing how far the U.S. has come in energy security, ascending to become a global energy superpower over the past decade as a result of innovation that unlocked substantial supplies of oil and natural gas.  

“Times have changed – and changed for the better,” Murkowski said. “Due to tremendous innovation and technological advances, our nation has moved away from energy scarcity and isolation to a point where energy dominance has become a real and legitimate policy goal. We are in the midst of a significant surge in oil and natural gas production, with renewables also making a noteworthy contribution. And we have taken steps to open up our markets, especially by lifting the ban on the export of domestic crude oil, which by all accounts stands as a smart, timely, and beneficial move.”

Murkowski reiterated how these tremendous achievements have put the U.S. in a position to export energy to our allies abroad so they are no longer dependent on unfriendly and unpredictable regimes. U.S. energy exports have simultaneously created new jobs, generated new revenues, improved our balance of trade, and created consumer benefits here at home.

Murkowski also pointed to the critical role that Alaska and the Arctic resource base can play as we look to future energy supply and security.

“My home state of Alaska is the most resource-rich state in the nation, and we stand ready to help strengthen our energy security,” Murkowski said. “While we currently account for six percent of total U.S. energy production, we have the opportunity to do so much more. Given recent discoveries both onshore and offshore in Alaska, along with our long-standing efforts to produce in our National Petroleum Reserve, the non-wilderness portion of ANWR, and our offshore Arctic, we have ample opportunity to refill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and contribute to the security and prosperity of our nation.”

Finally, Murkowski reiterated the importance of addressing our nation’s mineral security, which is critical to manufacturing, national defense, energy technologies, and infrastructure, but routinely ignored as a policymaking matter.

“We are becoming more and more reliant on minerals for everything from smart phones and solar panels to advanced defense systems,” Murkowski said. “Our mineral security has fallen dramatically, year after year. We have to pay greater attention to this threat, and we have to take steps to resolve it now.”

The hearing featured testimony from Mr. Jamie Webster of the Boston Consulting Group, Mr. Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute, Ret. Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney of the American Security Project, Mr. Bob Coward of the American Nuclear Society, and Mr. Dan McGroarty of the Carmot Strategic Group.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video of today’s hearing can be found on the committee’s website

Related Issues: Energy