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GOP Address: Murkowski Calls for More US Energy Independence

Clark James Mishler/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, delivered this week's Republican address, underscoring the issue of rising energy prices.  But first, Murkowski expressed her support for the people of Japan in the aftermath of Friday's earthquake and tsunami.  The Alaskan senator also commended the actions of President Obama regarding the disaster in Japan, and supported "his commitment to bring America's resources to bear to help Japan recover."

Amid social and political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, Murkowski drew attention to the interconnectedness of the global economy.  She shared steps Republicans wish to take that she says will "protect America from international conflicts, create thousands of jobs, reduce our budget deficit and help bring energy prices back down to Earth."

Sen. Murkowski expressed concern that the climbing price of oil could cause the U.S. to slip back into recession, and suggests that the U.S. government shares the blame with international events pushing these prices higher.

Murkowski, who is also the lead Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, proposed that one step that ought to be taken is to decrease the U.S.'s dependence on foreign energy.

"America now imports 11 million barrels of oil every day.  Last year alone, we spent more than $330 billion on foreign oil, much of it in countries that are not our friends," she said in the weekly address.

Noting that, contrary to what some might think, the U.S. is the world's third-largest oil producer, Murkowski said, "Republicans know that it's past time to produce more of America's oil."

Murkowski calls on Washington to remove the red tape and streamline regulations to boost production.  Do this, she said, and we will reap the "tremendous benefits of American oil production -- jobs, money and security."

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