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Sen. Murkowski on the President’s Deepwater Horizon Response

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today called for focus on solving the crisis in the Gulf, rather than trying to use it for political advantage.

"Tonight the President called for many things we can all agree on; the need to stop the oil, the need for a full clean up, prompt and full compensation for victims of the oil spill and measures to minimize the risk of an incident like this ever happening again. What I wanted to hear though, and the people of the Gulf expected to hear, was specifics about how we are going to do those things. Instead the President undermined our common goals by echoing those in Congress who want to use this incident to pass 'comprehensive energy and climate legislation,' the new code for cap-and-trade."

"If these measures get mired in the debate over climate legislation, then I'm afraid we'll have failed the people of the Gulf in their time of greatest need," Murkowski said. "They need help now. The push in Congress to enact cap-and-trade on the backs of the victims of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy - instead of on its own merits - is indefensible. "

The Deepwater Horizon spill exposed many inadequacies in the system that can be corrected immediately through bipartisan reform measures. Murkowski, who earlier today announced the Oil Spill Compensation Act of 2010, is actively supporting and advancing measures to respond to the spill and fully compensate its victims.

"The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a very emotional issue for all of us," Murkowski said. "I want to make sure we enact legislation based on good, sound policy judgments that will benefit the residents of the Gulf."

Murkowski said Congress needs to pass energy legislation that will reduce emissions, strengthen our fragile economy and bolster our energy security. This administration's own modeling, released today, shows that cap-and-trade legislation will do little to reduce our nation's oil consumption. 

Meanwhile, the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico is already causing rigs that were safely operating to shift their investments overseas. This could quickly increase our dependence on foreign oil by hundreds of millions of barrels a year - further weakening our economy, enlarging our trade deficit, and leaving America more vulnerable to price shocks and foreign dictators. 

"The President's moratorium has the potential to nail the lid on the coffin of the Gulf economy and take away more people's livelihood by shutting down a huge number of good paying jobs in the area," said Murkowski said. "Listen to the people of the Gulf -they deserve fair and timely compensation for the damages caused by the spill, but they are not asking for the oil and gas industry to be shut down."

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