By Ben Geman - 04/18/13 06:40 PM EDT
She said the overall concept of using oil-and-gas revenue to support green energy is an area where “we should be able to find some agreement.”
Murkowski has similarly floated creation of an “Advanced Energy Trust Fund” to seed initiatives on renewable power, advanced vehicles and other green tech with leasing and royalty revenues.
But her plan has a crucial difference: It gives the oil industry access to areas where drilling is now banned.
“Under my Advanced Energy Trust Fund proposal, new production on previously-closed federal lands could provide a substantial source of new revenue to fund research on the most promising new energy technologies, while paying down the national debt,” she said in February.
Murkowski wants to open various lands and waters to oil-and-gas leasing that the White House wants kept off-limits, such as Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Atlantic coast.
She criticized the Obama administration plan on Thursday, arguing that steering revenues from areas where oil exploration and production already occur means pulling funds from existing federal commitments.
But the White House is pushing its own plan, which would fund efforts to improve technologies including electric vehicles, biofuels and natural gas-powered transportation.
Obama touted the $2 billion, 10-year plan in a speech outside Chicago in March. He first floated the proposal in his State of the Union speech in February. The White House argues that revenues will increase without removing restrictions.
“These revenues are projected to increase over the next several years based on a combination of leasing, production, and price trends, with additional revenues potentially generated as a result of reforms being proposed in the FY 2014 Budget. The Trust is paid for within the context of the overall budget,” a summary states.