Murkowski: Terrorism Should Prompt Renewed Focus on Energy Security

Stresses Strong Link Between Domestic Production, National and Global Security

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today highlighted terrorism and instability throughout the Middle East, Africa, and other oil-producing regions as reasons for policymakers to focus on greater domestic energy production and greater energy security.  

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, made her comments Thursday morning during a hearing she convened to examine the intersection between terrorism and global oil markets. She also criticized a group of Senate Democrats for attempting to permanently block access to strategic energy reserves in Alaska, despite deteriorating conditions abroad and just weeks after they voted to allow Iran to resume exporting oil.

                             Click picture to view video of Murkowski’s opening statement.

“As terrorists threaten oil supplies in the Middle East, and as the state sponsors of terrorism in Iran prepare to make billions of dollars from selling oil to our allies, some within Congress are talking about intentionally and severely hurting American energy production, like the proposal by some to permanently ban production in a small sliver of the non-wilderness portion of ANWR – which could be the West Coast’s strategic reserve,” Murkowski said. “I think this is wrong, dead wrong.”

Murkowski pointed to volatile areas around the world that pose threats to the global oil supply and underscored the need to lift the current ban on domestic crude oil exports as a way to minimize disruptions.

Click picture to view video of Murkowski about the potential impact of sanctions on rogue oil sales.

“Oil production in countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Sudan has been knocked offline due to terrorism and related violence. We also know that Iran will soon be rejoining the global oil market, if President Obama gets his way, even as he continues to fight efforts by many of us to repeal the antiquated ban on exporting American oil to our allies,” Murkowski said. “In addition, continued violence in Libya threatens our allies in Europe who rely on that nation’s significant source of light crude oil. If we are smart enough to lift the ban on our oil exports, our nation could sell light crude to our partners in Europe.”

Murkowski said Thursday’s hearing was an opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about the economic and geopolitical issues facing our country in the face of growing terror threats to the world’s energy supplies. 

She also re-released three reports her staff produced during the past year on the growing volatility in Iraq, the rise of ISIS and its black market oil sales, and the relationship between global petroleum outages and instability.

The reports are available under the documents section of the energy committee’s website and directly through the links below.


Oil Production Outages and Strategic Warning

A Dark Pool in the Mideast: The Problem of ISIS Oil Sales

Iraq through the Lens of Energy