Murkowski: DOE Must Help Strengthen U.S Leadership in Energy Innovation

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired an oversight hearing held by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to examine the U.S. Department of Energy’s $28 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018, a $2.7 billion reduction from the current fiscal year.

Murkowski opened the hearing by welcoming Secretary Rick Perry back to the committee for the first time since his bipartisan Senate confirmation on March 2. While noting that she agrees with parts of the Department’s budget request, Murkowski also expressed concern about some of its proposed cuts, including its request to phase out the innovative ARPA-E program.  

“While I understand what drove this proposal and appreciate the need to derive savings and balance our budget, this cannot come at the expense of our efforts to further science and energy innovation,” Murkowski said. “We need to work together to find areas of agreement and opportunities to ensure the next generation of energy technologies is developed here.”

Murkowski also noted that reforms could help save and protect taxpayer dollars, citing the committee’s work on the Department’s loan programs over the past two years.

“My goal for the Department of Energy is to drive down the costs of emerging, pre-commercial technologies to make energy more affordable, reliable, clean, diverse and secure,” Murkowski said. “This is particularly important for my home state, where our energy costs are often orders of magnitude higher than those in the Lower 48.”

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. To view her question and answer portion of the hearing, click here.


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