Murkowski Urges Cost Certainty in Climate Change Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today underscored the importance of ensuring that climate change legislation doesn’t hamper the international competitiveness of the United States or limit its economic growth.

“We must ensure that climate change does not endanger our recovery, and we must seek to reduce energy prices, not drive them up,” Murkowski said at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the cost of climate change legislation. “Americans are hoping that when the economy turns around, it will stay strong. In the meantime, they’re hoping that, at a minimum, Congress won’t make life harder for them than it already is.”

Economic assessments of climate change bills vary greatly. However, every analyses projects two things in common: higher energy prices and lower economic growth.

“The proposals before us will affect not only climate change, but every facet of our economy for decades to come,” Murkowski said. “It’s incredibly difficult to conduct a sensitive and comprehensive analysis of climate change bills, but it’s equally important to know how those bills might work and what they may cost.”

Murkowski also noted that she hoped the framework for climate policy laid out by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., would mark a turning point in the climate debate.

“They wrote a column, not a bill, and I do believe it could be improved. But in my opinion, the framework they laid out in those 1,000 words is already better than the policies it took the House 1,400 pages to impose,” Murkowski said.

“Instead of cutting emissions at any cost, we should be working on policy that incorporates the best ideas of both parties – a policy that accounts for our near-term energy needs, limits costs, and is flexible enough to work under different economic circumstances,” she said.

Murkowski, the top Republican on the committee, supports addressing climate change in an economically safe and environmentally meaningful way.

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