Murkowski: Reconciliation Bill is a Great Opportunity for Alaska, America
Reiterates Support for Opening 1002 Area and Tax Reform During Conferee Meeting
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today participated in a public meeting of Senate and House conferees on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. During the meeting, Murkowski reiterated her strong support for this pro-jobs, pro-growth, and pro-energy bill that will benefit American families and businesses. The energy title of the bill, authored by Murkowski, opens a small portion of the non-wilderness 1002 Area in northeast Alaska to responsible energy development.
“This legislation will be good for our economy, good for jobs and growth, and good for American families and businesses,” Murkowski said. “Tax reform will fix our broken tax code, put dollars back in the pockets of hard-working Americans, and make our nation globally competitive once more. I’m also proud of our energy title, which contains the single-most important step we can take to strengthen our long-term energy security and create new wealth.”
Murkowski emphasized that a strong majority of Alaskans support the congressional delegation’s efforts to open the 1002 Area.
“Alaskans have fought for a long time to authorize a program for responsible energy development in the non-wilderness 1002 Area,” Murkowski said. “It will provide economic growth and prosperity for our state and the nation.”
Murkowski submitted a number of statements for the record of the meeting, including testimony from Matthew Rexford, tribal administrator for the Native Village of Kaktovik, Richard Glenn of Ukpeagvik, Gov. Bill Walker, I-Alaska, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, D-Alaska. She also submitted letters and resolutions of support from Alaska State legislators, the Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat, the North Slope Borough, national labor organizations, and energy security advocates.
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is the lead author of Title II of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The title establishes an environmentally protective oil and gas development program in a small portion of the non-wilderness 1002 Area, which Congress specifically set aside for evaluation of its oil and gas potential. Responsible development is limited to just 2,000 federal acres within the 1002 Area – just one ten-thousandth of all of ANWR. The committee also strengthened the title by adopting a bipartisan amendment from Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Luther Strange, R-Ala., and Angus King, I-Maine, to increase revenue sharing for the Gulf Coast for priorities such as coastal restoration and hurricane protection.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee reported its title on a bipartisan basis on November 15, 2017. The House passed its motion to go to conference on H.R. 1 and appointed conferees on Monday, December 4. The Senate passed its motion to go to conference and appointed conferees on Wednesday, December 6. Click here to view Murkowski’s opening remarks during today’s meeting.