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Energy Security Bill Attached to Appropriation Vehicle

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."

Susan Parker

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