Murkowski: Interior Department Should be Held Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today made the following statement after a judge ruled to hold the Interior Department in contempt for their continuing moratorium on deepwater drilling. The Interior Department will also be required to pay attorneys’ fees for several offshore drilling operators.

“As I stated upon Judge Feldman's original ruling overturning the moratorium, this is above all a nation of laws. While I was able to understand the Administration's initial reaction in suspending operations, the reality is that the moratorium is essentially still in effect and this directly violates the court’s ruling. There are billions of barrels of oil and millions of jobs - from Alaska to Louisiana – that Americans should be benefiting from. Instead, we’re losing good jobs and paying higher energy prices during a time when American’s are already tightening their budgets.

“Today, the Senate Energy Committee is holding a hearing on global oil markets. The turmoil in the Middle East and rising energy prices serve to highlight why the Administration cannot continue to slow walk this process, ignoring Congress and the courts. Our national security and national economy are at stake. I applaud the court for holding the Interior Department responsible for ignoring the law.”