Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, this week introduced four Alaska-focused bills. The bills would expand the use of clean, renewable hydropower to generate affordable electricity for Alaska communities, reroute a portion of a proposed gasline in Denali National Park and Preserve, and rename an existing wilderness area in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
"My top priority as chairman of the Energy Committee is to deliver for Alaska," Murkowski said. "These bills will boost hydropower projects to help provide clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to our communities, provide much needed flexibility to the Alaska gasline project, and honor the legacy of an incredible public servant, former Gov. Jay Hammond. All four of these measures were in the conference report for our broad, bipartisan energy bill last year, and I'm optimistic we will be able to see them signed into law in this new Congress."
"I am proud to join Senator Murkowski in introducing legislation to support Alaska's energy future, which includes renewables and natural gas," Sullivan said. "With legislation advancing the Terror Lake Hydro Project on Kodiak and the Mahoney Lake Hydro Project in Ketchikan, we have an opportunity to bring clean, renewable energy to many more Alaskans. Similarly, one of our bills will help clear a possible hurdle for a future Alaska natural gas pipeline. I am hopeful we can get these important bills across the finish line."
Murkowski and Sullivan introduced the following bills:
S. 213, Jay S. Hammond Wilderness Area -- Renames 2.6 million acres of an existing wilderness area within the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve to honor former Gov. Jay Hammond and commemorate his homestead on Lake Clark.
S. 214, Terror Lake Hydro Project -- Authorizes the expansion of the Terror Lake hydroelectric project near Kodiak. This will allow Kodiak and the largest Coast Guard base in the United States to continue to receive reliable, emissions-free energy.
S. 215, Mahoney Lake Hydro Project -- Authorizes a stay of the hydroelectric license for Mahoney Lake near Ketchikan. This will allow the Southeast Alaska Power Association to consider this renewable project for up to ten additional years.
S. 217, Gasline Routing -- Allows for the rerouting of a portion of the proposed gasline through the non-wilderness portion of Denali National Park and Preserve in order to avoid populated areas. This will continue to protect the park, reduce development costs, and ensure there are no major federal hurdles for this job-creating project.
Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the committee to which all four measures were referred after their introduction.