Murkowski calls for action to conserve energy, water


Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMoore digs in amid mounting GOP criticism Republicans float pushing back Alabama special election Moore defends himself as pressure mounts MORE (R-Alaska) released a white paper Tuesday to promote her legislation to coordinate federal efforts related to the conservation of energy and water and how each depends on the other for production.

Murkowski introduced the Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability Act with Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenLobbying World Overnight Regulation: House to vote on repealing joint-employer rule | EPA won't say which areas don't meet Obama smog rule | Lawmakers urge regulators to reject Perry plan New tax plan will hinder care for older Americans MORE (D-Ore.) in January. Her white paper explores how heavily the energy and water industries rely on each other, and how technology could reduce the need for each.

“There is a clear need to obtain reliable, current and comprehensive data on energy-for-water and water-for-energy use by all stakeholders, both public and private,” Murkowski said at a Tuesday morning event organized by the Atlantic Council. “More accurate data can improve informed decision making, help prioritize investments in energy-water related infrastructure and lead to better water and energy use practices.”

Murkowski said the federal government can play a role in gathering that data, although she recognized concerns the private sector may have with such a system. She asked for a “genuine partnership” between the government and stakeholders such as industry, utilities and academia.

“I’m advocating for better planning, better collaboration, not necessarily a top-down approach, and not another binding set of rules or mandates,” she said. “I’m certainly not advocating for the forceful implementation of any new policies or directives to use certain technologies.”

Murkowski said her legislation seeks to save not just energy and water, but also money, by streamlining existing government efforts toward conservation.