Energy Security Bill Attached to Appropriation Vehicle
Senate Energy Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) last week
introduced his National Energy Security Act of 2000, S. 2557, as
an amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriation
measure now before the Senate. He did so at the urging of Majority
Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), who supports the energy measure.
Among its provisions, the legislation seeks to open up part of
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas
exploration and production, lift the drilling moratoria in areas
such as offshore Florida and California, establish a home heating
oil reserve for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and
reauthorize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The goal of the bill is to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign
oil sources to 50% by 2010. "We aim to do that by enhancing the use
of renewable energy sources, conserving energy resources, improving
energy efficiencies and increasing domestic energy supplies," the
senator said in a prepared statement.
Murkowski believes that attaching his energy bill to the
Labor-HHS initiative is appropriate since seniors and those on
fixed incomes feel the pinch of soaring energy prices most. "We
found that out this winter when heating oil prices went through the
roof, and seniors had to choose between food and heat."
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