Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee, has acknowledged climate change is "real" and "we need to fight it."
Following her keynote speech at the Bloomberg New Energy conference in New York City, Murkowski discussed her views on climate change with Fortune's Brian Dumaine. "It doesn't make sense to argue about how much global warming is caused by man -- whether it's 5 percent or 50 percent. The best approach is to have a no-regrets policy," she said Tuesday.
She advocated an all-of-the-above energy approach, with a greater emphasis on renewables over time. "We owe it to ourselves to keep healthy this marvelous world we've been given."
Murkowski's comments come as Organizing for Action, the Obama administration's advocacy arm, launches its first big policy push around climate change. A Thursday email blast announcing the new initiative features a "greatest hits" video compilation of what it refers to as Republican climate deniers in Congress.
While the Alaska Republican has escaped the wrath of OFA's organizing efforts, it's unclear how climate friendly her policy positions really are. She has defended the construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing "the Canadians have been working hard to make oil sands less carbon intensive, and that the project will create many well-paying American jobs." And, as Wonkblog's Brad Plumer notes, a 121-page blueprint of her "vision for America's energy future" released in February offers a very modest climate policy with few specifics.
Back in 2010, Murkowski offered a resolution barring the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions, a way of disarming the regulators best positioned to fight climate change. She defended her actions saying, "My decision to introduce this measure is rooted in a desire to see Congress -– not unelected bureaucrats -– lead the way in addressing climate change."
Ezra Klein penned a column at the time entitled, "With friends like Lisa Murkowski, the climate doesn't need enemies." Indeed, so far her rhetoric on fighting climate change is just that.
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