Murkowski: Alaska is the West Coast’s Energy Reserve

Energy Panel Chair Highlights Alaska’s Resources as a Strategic Security Asset

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today cautioned against making arbitrary sales of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to pay for unrelated legislative initiatives, and highlighted the potential benefits to the nation if the administration allowed Alaska to realize its true energy potential.

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“Through thick and thin, those barrels in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – rarely ever tapped – have offered a measure of security and stability that is unique in the history of global commerce.” Murkowski said. “I support funding for SPR maintenance, for life extension, and for marine terminals. But I remain opposed to suggestions that we use the reserve to pay for completely unrelated programs, or that we simply sell off the entire stockpile, as some have suggested.”

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in a speech Tuesday on the Senate floor, offered skepticism of the Department of Energy’s plans for a new gasoline reserve on the West Coast, calling it “small potatoes,” and highlighted Alaska’s energy resources and infrastructure as an alternative.

“Opening up Alaska’s resources now would ensure that more oil is transported through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. A healthy pipeline would ensure that oil can be shipped from Alaska to fuel West Coast refineries when needed, and help ensure that energy remains affordable for the West Coast,” Murkowski said.

Calling it “strategic thinking,” Murkowski concluded her remarks with a call to allow Alaska – a state that wants to produce oil – to actually develop its energy resources for the benefit of hardworking Alaskans, Californians, and even Hawaiians.