Hi, I’m Lisa Murkowski.
I’m proud to represent the great state of Alaska in the U.S. Senate, where I serve as Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
And I’m pleased that just days from now, the Senate will consider broad energy legislation.
Following the passage of a highway bill, education reform, and many others, the energy bill promises to be our next bipartisan accomplishment on behalf of the American people.
It will also be the first major energy legislation considered on the Senate floor since 2007.
It’s been over eight years, folks.
Back then, we were living in an era of energy scarcity, with many afraid that America was running out of resources.
But since then, an energy revolution has occurred in our country.
Newer technologies have allowed oil and natural gas production to soar on state and private lands, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
On top of that, the cost of many other technologies – from solar panels to batteries for electric vehicles – has declined dramatically.
Unfortunately, the passage of time has also brought new challenges.
Our infrastructure continues to age.
Access restrictions, permitting delays, and other bureaucratic hurdles are sapping the competitiveness of our energy sector.
And President Obama has ignored the good work going on in Congress as he attempts to unilaterally recast our nation’s energy policy.
His gauntlet of burdensome regulations, many just beginning to take effect, threatens the affordability and reliability of our energy.
His policies are shutting down energy-rich states like Alaska.
He rejected the Keystone XL pipeline on political grounds.
And then his administration imposed a moratorium on federal coal leasing.
Decisions like those cost us jobs. They weaken our growth. And they strengthen some of the world’s worst actors, at the expense of hard-working Americans.
There is a better path for our energy policy. And under Republican leadership, Congress is taking it.
While the President lifted sanctions on Iran, letting the regime sell its oil into global markets, we ensured American producers can do the same by repealing an outdated export ban that applied to the United States.
Instead of standing in the way of new infrastructure, members of both parties have supported it.
And instead of relying on burdensome mandates and regulations, many of us have chosen to promote innovation.
But our work is hardly finished. In order to truly protect our nation, we must do more to update our energy policies.
That’s why I worked with my colleagues on the Energy Committee to develop a broad, bipartisan bill.
It will help America produce more energy. It will help Americans pay less for energy. And it will firmly establish America as a global energy superpower.
We agreed to expedite liquefied natural gas exports to boost our economy and the security of our allies.
We agreed to bolster our mineral security so that we don’t have to rely on foreign countries for the raw materials needed for everything from smart phones to military assets.
We agreed to promote hydropower – not to mention geothermal and other clean, renewable resources.
We focused on innovation and efficiency – both of which lead us to a brighter energy future.
We started to tackle permitting reform.
And we agreed to increase government accountability, and took steps to prevent another Solyndra.
We did this by working together. And our bill – the Energy Policy Modernization Act – passed our committee with strong bipartisan support.
It is our latest contribution to a better energy policy for the United States. It is our latest effort to restore regular order. And it will be on the floor, on the Senate floor, starting this week.
Thank you for listening.
Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPDXP17WmOw.