'The revenues from production could provide a tremendous down payment'

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.), ranking minority member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, discusses energy aspects of the economic stimulus bill in a Feb. 13 floor statement.

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.), ranking minority member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, discusses energy aspects of the economic stimulus bill in a Feb. 13 floor statement:

"There's no question that we must facilitate the development of renewable resources, increase energy efficiency, and pursue innovative solutions to the many challenges we face. But I was not satisfied that the energy provisions in the bill are 'timely,' 'targeted' or 'temporary.' By adopting this conference report, we will miss significant opportunities that would revive our economy and improve our energy security at little or no cost to taxpayers.

"My first criticism is not of the items that were included in the stimulus, but the items that were left out. Simply put, this package made no effort to increase domestic production of traditional resources such as oil and natural gas. By focusing only on new technologies, and to the total exclusion of those tried and true, this bill creates a false dilemma. Clean energy is viewed as the only viable option for energy development and job creation, when in fact it may not even be our most effective option.

"Consider the benefits that could be brought about by greater production of oil and gas here in America. According to one recent study, the full development of domestic oil and gas resources could generate up to $1.7 trillion in revenues for the federal government and create as many as 161,000 new jobs by 2030.

"The revenues from production could be used to provide a tremendous down payment on the long-term strength and security of our nation. Instead, as a result of this bill, American taxpayers will ultimately pay more than $1 trillion because of decisions those of us in the Senate chose not make."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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