Source: The Hill | Charles McConnell

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was recently quoted as the Senate Energy Committee continues to develop broad energy policy and legislation to define our nation’s future. She stated that good policy for energy must include the concepts of “abundant, affordable, clean, diverse and secure.” How incredibly refreshing that the complete concept of energy sustainability is considered and that she embraces the totality of the challenge. It’s not just convenient politics or ideology, but honest-to-goodness leadership.I believe in the past several years that the conversation has been taken from what energy sustainability really is, and what Murkowski has described as good policy, and has degenerated into a winner-and-loser discussion with polling as a defining metric. What do voters want? Do they want coal or natural gas or wind or solar or nuclear? They don’t want or love fuels — they want security of supply, affordability and environmentally responsible performance. If you love energy security, then one must embrace diversity of supply. Betting on one solution is naive and dangerous. We’re better than that.

So we’re blessed with abundant resources and we’re the world’s leading energy producer. We have the most affordable portfolio for our citizens and industry in the world. And we can’t solve environmental responsibility challenges without sacrificing our energy security and affordability? I don’t buy it, and neither does Murkowski.

Senator, you were a big supporter of my nomination and confirmation several years ago and I pledged to you and the committee that we would do all in our power to advance technology and assure that fossil fuels would be secure, affordable and environmentally responsible. We would advance technology and be state-of-the-world leaders in extracting resources productively and efficiently; ensuring our deep-water offshore efforts were safe and operationally secure; and addressing the carbon dioxider challenges of fossil fuels with environmental technologies that would safely and permanently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be accretive to our nation’s energy security and affordability. Technologies that create a global marketplace pathway to deployment to ensure the outcome of reduced carbon dioxide. We needed the support of government to advance the technologies and invest in the research, development and commercial deployment. We didn’t ask for punitive taxes or penalties to level playing fields — we asked for real technology development support.

These past few years have seen too much bickering politically and now Murkowski has taken on the real challenge in front of us as a nation, but I would argue even more so the challenge of our world. American technology leadership is our gift to the world — always has been. And we can’t shirk our responsibilities and hide behind narrow-minded thinking. We need to accept the global challenge, ensure fuel diversity, make our energy more affordable and meet the environmental challenges. You can’t run from the reality of the world’s energy mix, so let’s all take on a bipartisan effort to take that challenge and support Sen. Murkowski’s efforts to lead.