Senator Lisa Murkowski, citing a need for policies to deal with abundant energy supplies after years of scarcity, offered proposals that include expanding oil and gas development to help underwrite clean-energy research.

“What we are trying to establish here is a new direction,” Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said today at a news conference in Washington. “We want to change the conversation.”

Murkowski, top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said combating climate change has to be part of the debate, though she said legislation to cap carbon- dioxide emissions or tax the gas, which is tied to global warming, couldn’t pass Congress. Instead, lawmakers should create a fund to support less-polluting energy sources using some revenue from increasing production of oil and gas.

Murkowski’s Republican colleagues, such as Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, have said human-activities such as the burning of coal to generate electricity aren’t responsible for global warming.

Facebook Twitter RSS