Murkowski Offers ANWR, Permitting Amendments to Energy Tax Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today expressed her frustration over the inability to vote on amendments to the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies bill due to the Senate Majority Leader blocking all Republican amendments.

“This is the only energy bill that’s been up for debate on the Senate floor this Congress and instead of having a real discussion about policy, Democrats are engaged in a political messaging exercise,” Murkowski said. “Republicans introduced 32 energy amendments, including one that enacted the president’s own executive order, and not one was allowed to be considered or voted on.”

The amendment, offered by Murkowski sought to expedite federal permitting and review decisions on energy and natural resources projects. It used that same words and ideas laid out in the president’s March 22 executive order, as well as bipartisan provisions from the highway bill.

“It’s disappointing that the majority would object to the opportunity to codify their own president’s words,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski also introduced an amendment to allow oil and natural gas production from the ANWR coastal plain through the use of directional drilling from state lands adjacent to the refuge.

“This amendment offers the Senate a chance to put reason ahead of rhetoric, and policy above politics, when it comes to oil production in Alaska,” Murkowski said. “It’s a chance to end a decades-old dispute about whether development can proceed safely. It’s a no-impact-plan that takes care of every concern about development on the coastal plain and offers us a chance to make progress on domestic production – as well as our national security, jobs, debt reduction and even on cleaner technologies.”

Watch her floor speech on the two amendments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL-IcLGb_pY

Earlier today, Murkowski spoke on the Senate floor to correct several of the claims made by her colleagues. Those comments can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5hqa76CRu4