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(Washington, D.C.) – By a vote of 88-11, the U.S. Senate passed an Energy Bill today. Despite serious reservations over the lack of conservation and efficiency measures, Murray supported the legislation.

Senator Murray issued the following statement:

"With reservation, I supported the Energy Bill today.

Throughout this debate I have contended that America needs a comprehensive energy policy. That policy must recognize the current importance of oil, gas, and coal exploration. But to ensure America's energy security for the future, it must support energy efficiency, conservation, clean and renewable energy sources, and it should diversify our energy sources.

This legislation does not adequately address energy conservation, efficiency or diversification. It is a status quo bill that proposes no vision for the future, and cannot legitimately be called a National Energy Policy.

I am also concerned that the legislation gives FERC new authority, without the mandate to protect the end consumer.

But late this afternoon, a provision to add new borrowing authority for BPA was added to the bill. This amendment will help to address one of the most acute energy problems facing Washington State – the transmission of energy.

In our state, there are more than 40 major bottlenecks in the regional transmission system, preventing electricity from flowing between producers and consumers. By granting BPA the authority to borrow up to $1.3 billion to build new transmission lines, electricity will flow more freely.

The legislation includes billions of dollars in tax credits for renewable energy production and technologies. As Washington State is one of the nation's leaders in renewable technology, this will benefit our state greatly.

I am also pleased to have won the fight against drilling in ANWR. We should not be sacrificing our pristine wilderness areas for the short-term possibility that we could find oil.

And the Energy bill includes the pipeline safety legislation that the Senate has passed in each of the last two sessions. I am hopeful that the House will finally stop obstructing this important legislation.

Challenges still remain in protecting the northwest system, which is reliant on our hydro-electric power based resources.

I hope that in conference, this legislation will increase efforts to invest in renewable resources and conservation measures. Only then can we begin to truly reduce our dependence on foreign oil."