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Sen. Murkowski Discusses the Gulf Coast Oil Spill and Energy Policy on CNN’s “State of the Union”


“Let's build on the art of the possible instead of requiring, as the President seems to want to do, that we have to have a cap and trade piece or it's not comprehensive.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural resources, appeared on CNN’s, “State of the Union,” with Candy Crowley this morning. The following are excerpts from the interview:

On the DNC’s BP ad and Rep. Barton’s remarks:

“The statement that Representative Barton made was wrong. Absolutely wrong. He has since apologized for it. But for the White House, for the Administration to be kind of running with this as the issue, let's not forget, we had 11 people die, and we have an environmental disaster unfolding and an economic disaster unfolding. Let's not be distracted by saying, you know, Joe Barton made this gaffe or this inappropriate comment.

“Let's focus on what we need to do, which is getting relief to the Gulf, making sure that they have every asset possible, and making sure we have a claims compensation system that works for them. Let's focus on providing what the people of the Gulf need, not pointing fingers back and forth saying, what you said was wrong.”

On BP’s operations in Alaska:

“BP's operations in Alaska have all been on land. We have had serious issues where it was clear that they failed in their responsibility as operators. It was unacceptable. They have been fined mightily. They have said they improved their efforts. That needs to be demonstrated. Unfortunately, what we are seeing in the Gulf, and as we learn a little bit more every day about what may have happened, this does not reflect well on BP.”

On the potential of an energy bill capping carbon:

“We simply have not been able to get to 60.

“You have too many people looking at this and saying a cap and trade, a command and control type of system, at a time like we are in right now, with recession and -- just a very difficult economy, when we put mandates on and say you will do this, we are going to drive jobs overseas, and we are going to harm the economy at a time when most of us do not think that that is the appropriate policy.”

On whether there should be a carbon tax or limit in a comprehensive energy bill:

“I don't think that there is the political ability to put a price on carbon as we are speaking. There is nothing out there that, I believe, gains the acceptance of folks to get to 60, to make an energy policy that is workable.

“Let's focus on something that gets us towards that goal, which is reduction in our emissions. We have got a bill sitting right there. It's been out for a full year now, a bipartisan product out of the Energy Committee that puts us clearly on that path to reduced emissions, and greater efficiencies, and greater concentration moving towards renewables. The only thing it doesn't have is cap and trade. That's how we got to a bipartisan bill. Let's build on something like that. Let's build on the art of the possible instead of requiring, as the president seems to want to do, that we have to have a cap and trade piece or it's not comprehensive.”

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