Murkowski Convenes Hearing on Offshore Energy Technologies

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing to examine the development of emerging offshore energy technologies, including renewable resources such as offshore wind and marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy.

“When most people hear the phrase ‘offshore energy,’ they think of offshore oil and gas, which make a substantial contribution to our economy and energy security. But there are numerous other ways to produce energy in the ocean,” Murkowski said. “Coastal states have the opportunity to expand and reimagine their ocean-based economies with these technologies, and developing them will enable cleaner and more affordable energy for a wide range of communities.”

Murkowski also noted that from the wind and tidal energy capacities in Cook Inlet to the RivGen Power System now providing nearly half of the power used in the village of Igiugig, Alaska is an ideal proving ground for such technologies.

Dr. Walter Cruickshank of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management testified that securing offshore energy technologies such as wind, MHK, and the potential recovery of methane (gas) hydrates from the ocean floor “creates American jobs and promotes innovation in the United States.”

The hearing also included testimony from:

  • Daniel Simmons, the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy;
  • Stuart Davies, the CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Company, which developed and manufactured the technology utilized in Igiugig;
  • Siri Kindem, President of Equinor Wind US; and
  • Jonathan Lewis, Senior Counsel at the Clean Air Task Force, who urged immediate passage of the American Energy Innovation Act to expand research and development for zero-carbon fuels.

Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. An archived video of today’s hearing can be found on the committee’s website. Click herehere and here to view Murkowski’s questions for the witnesses.