Begich Pushes Need for Energy Plan at White House Meeting
Highlights Alaska priorities in energy legislation
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich joined a bi-partisan group of senators meeting with President Obama at the White House today to discuss energy legislation. Begich used the opportunity to push for a comprehensive energy plan, including renewable and non-renewable resources, which will lead to job creation and enhance the country's economic and national security.
"We need to get off the dime and lead this country to a comprehensive energy plan that will decrease our reliance on foreign oil, protecting our economic and national security," Begich said. "We need to get off the partisan politics of today and do what's right for the country."
Begich described the discussion with the President as robust and said there seemed to be shared interest in dealing with a comprehensive energy plan.
Begich said he also voiced concerns about current energy legislation being discussed, saying it needs to include revenue sharing for Alaska from oil and gas development in federal waters off the Arctic coast. Another priority Begich said he is pushing is adaptation funding for communities, such as many in Alaska, which are dealing with climate change first-hand, including severe flooding and erosion problems.
In March, Begich sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid outlining Alaska's priorities for any energy/climate legislation to include:
· Expanded incentives for clean burning natural gas from Alaska and to help deliver it to market;
· Offshore oil and gas development revenue sharing with the State of Alaska and Alaska coastal communities and tribes;
· Dedicated adaptation funding assisting Alaska communities on the front line of climate change;
· Recognition of Alaska's leadership in Arctic and climate change research; and
· Funding of an appropriate federal response to a changing Arctic recognizing the strategic importance of Arctic assets and the need for international leadership in that part of the world.