WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Republicans used their weekly radio address to call for a roll-back of government regulations in the U.S. energy industry.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Saturday the current regulatory regime was unnecessarily stifling energy development and overall economic growth, and urged adoption of a raft of changes she said would improve the economy and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources by 2020.
"It is in our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure," Murkowski said. "I believe that there's a consensus around these five objectives, and our challenge now is to align federal policy with them."
Murkowski, whose home state is a major U.S. oil producer, reiterated the GOP's calls for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil production, and giving the green light to the Keystone XL crude pipeline out of Canada.
She also ticked off proposals in non-petroleum areas, such as ramping up a new generation of small-scale nuclear power generation and exports of liquefied natural gas.
The Hill said Murkowski also acknowledged some of the proposals would unlikely get off the ground in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
"And that's why I describe it as a conversation starter," Murkowski said. "It is intended to provoke a new and a better discussion about energy, to recognize how bright our future can be, and to provide a prudent alternative to the heavy-handed approaches coming from the (Obama) administration and the EPA."