August 27, 2012

Senators Wyden, Murkowski tour array of Alaska energy sites

Washington, D.C. – U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), traveled to Alaska this week to visit a range of the state’s energy resources, as part of an ongoing tour of energy-producing regions of the US.

Senator Wyden made the trip at the invitation Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Senator Wyden is poised to be the committee’s top Democrat next year and currently chairs the Public Lands and Forests subcommittee.

“I’ve seen first-hand how truly unique Alaska is, both in the challenges and opportunities it has for energy development. Alaska is known for its massive Arctic oil and gas projects, but it also boasts opportunities for renewable power in isolated villages and towns that need affordable energy,” Wyden said.

“I could not have had a better guide than Lisa Murkowski – a senator who truly understands that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to energy policy, both here in Alaska and the rest of the United States. I am eager to continue working with her on ways to safely develop Alaska’s energy resources, while ensuring protection for the state’s outstanding natural beauty,” he continued.

Senators Wyden and Murkowski’s itinerary included stops at a sampling of Alaska’s energy projects, including: a renewable energy fair and 10-megawatt geothermal plant at Chena Hot Springs Resort; a liquefied natural gas terminal in Kenai; and an offshore oil platform in Cook Inlet. Wyden arrived in Alaska Saturday evening.

“Senator Wyden has a longstanding reputation for being willing to reach across the aisle and find common ground on some of our nation’s greatest challenges. I look forward to working with that same sense of bipartisanship with him on the energy committee to advance policies that will help us realize our full energy potential by taking advantage of a wide range of our nation’s vast natural resources, both in Alaska and across the country,” Senator Murkowski said.

“While Alaska may be known primarily as an oil-producing state, we’re also a big producer of renewable energy. That’s why I think visits like this one are so important - they give lawmakers a chance to see firsthand the challenges and opportunities we have in Alaska.”

The trip is second joint visit by Senators Wyden and Murkowski to energy-producing regions of the U.S., after a June tour of West Virginia coal and wind-energy projects. In April, Wyden toured the site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor disaster in Japan.

Wyden will continue his Alaska tour Tuesday and Wednesday, with Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska). Their events include a tour of a wind-energy project and a roundtable discussion of tax reform.