WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today, Senator Murkowski continued to highlight her support for investing in geothermal energy. “Unfortunately geothermal energy has not gotten the attention that other renewable energy sources have,” said Senator Murkowski. “Along with ocean energy it received relatively little federal assistance in the Energy Bill two years ago. If we encourage geothermal development it will pay big dividends to the nation. If we spend money now to advance geothermal technology, it will help the entire nation, not just in the West, but across the country.” With fuel prices at near record highs, hot water heated naturally by the earth provides utilities a fuel with zero cost. Yet geothermal power only provides the nation with three-tenths of a percent of its electricity at present due to the high capital costs of siting and building geothermal plants. In Alaska, at least 50 percent of the state’s communities could utilize geothermal heat sources to produce electricity. Alaska has nearly a dozen proposed geothermal projects that could proceed if there was additional federal assistance. ###