WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today spoke on the Senate floor on the high cost of energy and the need to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development.

“The price of gasoline all over the nation is high, but in Alaska it is unbearable,” said Senator Murkowski. “Americans are tired of hearing about why the cost of energy is so high, what they want to know is what we in Congress are doing to drive down prices. What we need to do is produce more of our domestic oil and gas supplies to help drive down prices.”

Earlier this year Senator Murkowski introduced the American Energy Independence and Security Act of 2008, cosponsored by Senator Stevens. The bill would automatically open the coastal plain of ANWR if the world price of oil tops $125 a barrel for five days. In return, the bill allocates all the federal revenues that would come from that oil to both alternative energy development and to programs to help improve energy efficiencies and to those in need. The bill is also cosponsored by Senator Chambliss, Inouye, Roberts, Craig, Isakson and Landrieu.