Energy innovation bill includes benefits for Alaska

Bipartisan legislation now before the U.S. Senate to modernize domestic energy laws contains a number of provisions that would benefit Alaskans in terms of mineral security, cybersecurity and more, says Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

The American Energy Innovation Act, which Murkowski introduced in the Senate with Sen. Joe Machin, D-W.VA., would help Alaskans pioneer new technologies, ranging from renewables to energy storage and even advanced nuclear, to help lower local energy costs, and also protect cybersecurity, by allowing Alaska to produce more of the minerals needed for clean technologies, and help meet the rising threat of climate change, she said.

Murkowski said she intends to file the full text of AEIA as a substitute amendment to S.2657, which was under debate on the Senate floor.

The legislation would allow for permitting reforms and increased geological surveying to help Alaska responsibly produce more of its world class mineral base, she said.

AEIA would also provide grants to rural communities to improve cybersecurity defenses and ensure continued delivery of reliable electricity, and boost solar and wind energy research and development, to ensure these resources can be effectively deployed in rural areas, she said.

Another provision would expand energy storage, which would ultimately help lower energy bills. Anchorage and Cordova already use energy storage to serve their customers and AEIA will expand opportunities to deploy storage across Alaska, she said.