Murkowski: “Energy is Not a Necessary Evil”

Saturday, 09 Feb 2013 03:22 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski used the Republican weekly address Saturday to promote her comprehensive energy plan, one she claims will increase energy supplies and lower prices.

The Alaska Republican's plan calls for removing government regulations that Republicans believe constrain coal-fired power plants, reports The Hill. It also demands immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

“Energy is not a necessary evil,” she said. “Energy is good. And that’s why it is in our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure.”

Other parts of Murkowski's blueprint, which she says will end the United States' dependence on OPEC oil, call for promoting the use of small modular nuclear reactors, expediting liquefied natural-gas exports and creating a new agency for nuclear waste management.

Murkowski said she knows many of her proposals will likely be opposed since Democrats control the Senate and White House.

"It’s fair to say that not every member of Congress will support every proposal in my blueprint," Murkowski said. "And that’s why I describe it as a conversation starter. It’s intended to provoke a new and a better discussion about energy, to recognize how bright our future can be, and to provide a prudent alternative to the heavy-handed approaches coming from the administration and the EPA."

President Barack Obama also wants a renewed focus on energy, including making a pledge during his second inaugural address to address climate change and green energy production.

Part of that effort will include new Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at reducing coal-burning power plant emissions. Another part of the White House's plan includes ordering federal agencies, including the Pentagon, to reduce energy use.

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