Says Reducing Fuel Demand Is Important, New Policies Must be Paid For
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today expressed optimism that the members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee could find common ground on policies that both increase oil supply and reduce oil demand. Murkowski's comments came during a full committee hearing on two bills that seek to reduce domestic fuel consumption: S. 734, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act, and S. 948, the Promoting Electric Vehicles Act.
"Earlier this week we considered several bills designed to increase domestic energy production. Now we're looking at the other side of the equation, with a few of the bills that seek to reduce demand," Murkowski said. "Both supply and demand matter, and the policies we consider in this committee should reflect that fact."
Murkowski, the panel's ranking member, also stressed the need to ensure that new policies don't add to the federal debt -- especially after the federal government hit its debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion earlier this week.
"Given the huge amount of work it will take to balance the federal budget, we need to be careful, as authorizers, to make sure everything we pass is extremely well-justified," Murkowski said. "One of the best ways to ensure that our work keeps moving through the legislative process is to make sure that it's fully paid for -- whether by repealing old authorizations or applying some of the revenues from new energy production."
During a round of questions with the hearing's witnesses, Murkowski asked questions about cost, design, and scope of each policy.