Senator Murkowski Issues and Priorities: Energy
As a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, Senator Murkowski is leading the effort to reform the United States’ resource policies and is well positioned to help Alaska develop more of its world-class energy and mineral deposits. During her chairmanship in the 116th Congress, Senator Murkowski is credited with the enactment of numerous landmark pieces of legislation involving the nation’s energy technology, natural resources, and public lands. These include the John D. Dingell Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the Great American Outdoors Act, and the Energy Act of 2020. These pieces of legislation will ensure that the United States remains a global competitor in energy markets and a robust developer of natural resources while protecting the lands and environment that we all hold so dear. Recognizing Alaska’s decades-long record of strong environmental stewardship, Senator Murkowski supports the responsible development of the state’s natural resources. Greater production of everything from oil, natural gas, and coal to hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass will create new jobs and economic opportunities, increase national security, and strengthen the global competitiveness of our country. In contrast to federal agencies’ desire to lock away our most promising prospects, Senator Murkowski is a champion of access to federal lands and waters. This is needed to facilitate energy production in a small portion of the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), on Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf, and in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. These areas collectively hold almost 35 billion barrels of conventional oil and could refill the critical 800-mile long Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which is currently running two-thirds empty. In the 115th Congress, Senator Murkowski wrote the resource title of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which created new economic opportunities by opening up the non-wilderness 1002 Area of ANWR for responsible energy development. Senator Murkowski is also working to ensure that no major federal hurdles emerge for the Alaska natural gas pipeline project, which will allow the state to produce and market the vast quantities of natural gas stranded beneath the North Slope. She has introduced and advanced legislation to ensure that Alaska receives a fair share (37.5 percent) of the revenues from offshore production in federal waters, and is the lead proponent of legislation to increase America’s mineral security through resource assessments, permitting reforms, and similar activities. A firm believer that “energy is good,” Senator Murkowski is a strong proponent of ‘all of the above’ policies to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure. She promotes energy innovation, seeks to lower the costs of renewable energy, and encourages increases in energy efficiency. These efforts will help cut high energy costs in rural Alaska communities, reduce the emissions blamed for climate change, and bolster the long-term energy security of the United States. In 2020, Senator Murkowski championed landmark legislation which was the first comprehensive update to America’s energy policy in 13 years. The Energy Act of 2020 included 35 billion dollars in funding across the spectrum of energy technologies, from renewables like wind, solar and geothermal, to cutting edge advanced nuclear technology, to carbon reduction research and technologies such as Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS). The Energy Act will lower greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and improve electrical efficiency and reduce costs for consumers and producers. Notably, the Energy Act is the first step in shoring up domestic supply chains of critical minerals, those minerals necessary to produce a variety of goods and technologies, ranging from renewable energy infrastructure like solar panels and wind turbines, to industrial defense applications. The legislation was overwhelmingly bipartisan, with nearly 70 Senators sponsoring or cosponsoring provisions included in the final energy package. The Energy Act was signed into law as Division Z of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 on December 27, 2020.