Murkowski Says She’ll Flex Muscle as Senior Member of Energy Committee If Re-elected
All politics is local, especially when it comes to energy politics. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) proved that today in Fairbanks when she outlined a plan to lower energy costs in the city.
But the plan also has a number of potential national implications. In order to convince voters that it’s worth their while to allow her to keep her Senate seat, Murkowski pledged to leverage her power as ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to ensure that the state expands its drilling activities and is able to bring its natural gas supplies to market in the contiguous United States.
In a statement, Murkowski’s re-election campaign gently reminded voters of the senator’s power to authorize and appropriate money for the Interior Department, the agency with control over the country’s offshore and onshore drilling operations. In fact, the campaign notes that Murkowski can block Interior Department appropriations that will restrict drilling in Alaska.
According to the campaigns statement on the announcement today:
It is critical for Alaskans to remember Sen. Murkowski’s dual positions of authorizing and appropriating power over the Interior Department, slated for next year in the Senate. Not only will Lisa have enough votes in the Energy Committee to pass ANWR votes for any committee bill, but she will have the power to deny any appropriations that go towards further restricting Alaska’s federal oil and gas fields, including offshore fields. This position is unprecedented for any Alaskan member of Congress.
In addition, Murkowski pledged to use her seniority to push for the construction of a natural gas pipeline to transport Alaska’s natural gas resources to the rest of the United States. “In recent weeks I’ve spoken to a number of energy leaders in Alaska, leaders with an aggressive vision for getting Alaska’s natural gas to market and making sure that our in-state needs are met, especially here in Fairbanks where fuel and electricity prices are so high that they are straining budgets and affecting the local economy,” she said.
For more on Murkowski’s energy priorities in the next Congress, see this statement from her campaign.