Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today unveiled a new energy plan, a document that she’d been hyping for weeks. In January, she called it “very comprehensive,” which is, I guess, an improvement over other people’s moderately comprehensive proposals.
Murkowski very savvily linked the release to the Super Bowl power outage, noting that the darkened Superdome “helps to perhaps kick-start the debate” over exactly how much offshore drilling we should do. Oh, that was a spoiler: Murkowski thinks we should do a lot of offshore drilling. And if we had, the Superdome wouldn’t have gone dark last night, because the game could have been played by the light of burning barrels of crude.
So. The plan. Here’s how the Anchorage Daily News describes it. (We’ve gone ahead and removed the filler.)
Murkowski wants oil leasing off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. She wants an increase in drilling on federal lands, saying that will hasten independence from imported oil.
Her proposals include drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and overturning the Interior Department’s plan to set aside half the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska for wildlife, wilderness and recreation. Murkowski also wants to speed approval for resource production on Alaska Native lands.
Murkowski is resistant to federal regulation of fracking, the controversial process in which high-pressure water and chemicals are injected underground to free up the natural gas inside shale rock. Murkowski said the states already do a good job of regulating it. [Ed. – Ha ha ha ha ha]
She is pushing for immediate approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is opposed by environmental groups because it would tap Canadian oil sands that are higher in carbon emissions than other sources of oil.
What about climate change, you ask? Well: “Her proposal opposes ‘any policy that would increase the price of energy or limit consumer choice.'” She disavows her 2007 push for a cap on carbon emissions, arguing that the economy is worse now. Besides, cheap energy should be embraced! And then she said, presumably not ironically, that access to cheap energy means America is great.
“We like to be comfortable in our temperatures. We like to be able to move around. This is the mark of a successful and an economically healthy world. Where you have energy these are the prosperous areas,” she said.
Well, Sen. Murkowski, you’re going to love Alaska in 2100 when it’s 15 degrees warmer. All that cheap energy, making Alaska comfortable in its temperatures (if at the expense of the rest of America and the world).
There is literally nothing in Murkowski’s proposal which in any way “kick-starts” any debate. It’s only “very comprehensive” in the sense that it comprehensively includes all of the same policies as the GOP’s awesomely named “DEJA” proposal last year, which itself was such a retread that we basically only bothered to make fun of the name when reporting on it.
Murkowski loves oil, loves oil companies, and can thank the industry, in part, for her remarkable 2010 write-in Senate victory. This isn’t an energy plan; it’s a fundraising email for 2016 sent to Shell and ExxonMobil.
But nice Super Bowl hook. Maybe that got a few more eyeballs on this same, tired nonsense.