Republicans urge streamlining of energy legislation

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Minority members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee say the focus of energy legislation should be narrowed in the remaining days before Congress adjourns.

In a letter to Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, the 11 Republican committee members said proposed energy legislation should focus on measures that maintain the country's energy infrastructure, increase domestic supplies, reduce demand and decrease reliance on unstable sources.

Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, the ranking minority member, has been pushing legislation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to petroleum drilling as a means of decreasing the country's reliance on foreign oil.

As part of its consideration of comprehensive energy legislation this year, the committee has been considering electricity restructuring, climate change and other issues.

Republicans said proposed legislation must be streamlined in light of the East Coast terrorist attacks to make sure the full Senate addresses key issues before adjournment.

Congress is expected to push back its projected adjournment date of Oct. 5 to at least the middle of the month.

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