Murkowski: Rising Oil Prices Threaten Economic Recovery

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commented on the rapid increase of gasoline prices and the resulting impact on the United States’ struggling economic recovery.

“The recent dramatic increase in the cost of gasoline has an effect on every single American – from soccer moms, to senior citizens, to college students,” Murkowski said. “The fragile recovery trajectory that we’re on is threatened by the hits that every family is facing due to skyrocketing prices at the pump.”

Over the past month, oil prices have risen more than $10 a barrel, fueled by the current turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore, since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last summer, only one new permit has been issued for deepwater exploration or production, and the shallow-water permitting process has been considerably slowed down.

“Critics have opposed domestic production for the past 25 years, insisting that it would do little to lower prices,” Murkowski said. “However, had we begun exploration and production all those years ago, we would not be so dependent on foreign sources now.”

Murkowski, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, recently introduced two bills to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain for oil exploration and development.

“We have billions of barrels of oil within our own borders just waiting to be discovered and developed,” Murkowski said. “That all adds up to very real amounts of revenue and thousands of well-paying American jobs. It’s time that America sends the market a signal that we are serious about producing our own resources.”