Murkowski: U.S. Can Deliver Energy Breakthroughs

Committee Examines Energy Technology Solutions to Reduce Emissions

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing that continued the committee’s discussion about opportunities for innovative energy solutions that can reduce domestic and global greenhouse gas emissions.

Murkowski opened by noting that emissions in the U.S. electric sector have declined substantially in the last decade, in large part due to flat demand growth, low cost natural gas, and the declining costs of renewable technologies.

“The opportunity we have in front of us is to foster an innovation ecosystem here in the United States that can lead to breakthroughs that deliver cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable energy,” Murkowski said. “Our National Labs and universities, as well as the private sector, are developing technologies that could be deployed not only here at home, but also around the world to reduce emissions – whether advanced nuclear, carbon capture, utilization and storage, energy storage, or a technology that is just starting to show its potential.”

Murkowski went on to highlight the pioneering work being done in rural communities across Alaska to transition to renewable energy sources and create a more sustainable future.

“Alaska is feeling the impacts of climate change, but our communities are making strides to responsibly reduce their emissions,” Murkowski said. “Igiugig, a village with a year-round population of about 70 people, is installing a turbine system that will create emission-free electricity using river currents. The City of Kodiak generates nearly all of its electricity from renewable resources, including hydropower and wind. And in Southeast, the Haines Brewing Company is going to add more solar to their facility to power more of their beer production.”

While there was agreement that an all of the above energy strategy and technology innovation will provide the best path forward to address emissions, commercially deploying these technologies remains a challenge.

“Innovation is a priority, but we can’t reduce emissions on just technology. We need deployment,” Murkowski said. “I look forward to working with my committee colleagues to continue this dialogue and determine how Congress can facilitate deployment and unleash these technologies to market.”

Today’s hearing was the second the committee has held to focus on opportunities for energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The committee also plans to hold a series of technology-specific hearings in the months ahead, which will serve to complement its legislative agenda on energy policy.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video of today’s hearing can be found on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view Murkowski’s questions for the witnesses, and here to view her closing remarks.

Related Issues: Energy