Fossil Fuel Leaders Denounce Alaska Senator Murkowski For Voting Against Energy Producers

Fossil fuel leaders spoke at an energy summit on Wednesday, highlighting Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AL) record of working against the interests of energy producers.

The critics pointed, in particular, to Murkowski’s tie-breaking vote to confirm the nomination of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Speaking at the summit, which was hosted by candidate for Senate Kelly Tshibaka (R-AK), energy entrepreneur Harold Hamm emphasized the Haaland confirmation vote.

“The Biden administration picked [Haaland] because they knew that she was going to do everything that she could to shut down development, not only in Alaska, but on federal land everywhere,” Hamm said at the summit. “I can’t understand anybody who would vote for her nomination.”

“We need votes we can count on, that America can count on, for energy,” Hamm continued. “And that just hasn’t always been the case, unfortunately.”

Oil & Gas Workers Association President Matt Coday called Murkowski’s confirmation vote an insult to everyone in the energy industry.

“We knew before the vote that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland would be against our jobs, that she was out to get our jobs, and she hasn’t disappointed on that front,” Coday said. “And for Lisa Murkowski, for her to cast the tie-breaking vote to advance her confirmation, it’s really a slap in the face of every American who works in this industry.”

Critics also point out that Murkowski voted to confirm acting Attorney General Merrick Garland, who decided not to appeal a ruling against an oil and gas project that would have brought large investments and created countless jobs in Alaska.

In a speech at the energy summit, Tshibaka detailed that the approval process for energy projects is bogged down by federal complacency.

“We know that these federal agencies blow through the regulations, the timelines, the scope limitations and law, regularly,” she said. “They’re supposed to have them done in two years – our average now is four-and-a-half years or longer.”

“That’s why we see companies pulling out of Alaska and investors pulling out,” Tshibaka went on. “It’s really time that Congress lock down on that and hold agencies accountable through budget cuts and appropriations or having multiple hearings before committees.”