Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday warned President Trump's nominee to lead the Energy Information Administration to do her job in an unbiased way if she wins Senate confirmation.
The EIA “is held out to be this unbiased arbiter of data,” said the Alaska Republican at a Tuesday confirmation hearing for Linda Capuano to be administrator of the agency that falls within the Energy Department.
The EIA forms the basis of much of the energy policy discussion within the White House, the agencies, and Congress. Its analysis is also a resource for the energy industry and state governments.
“It’s fair to say that when you have political and policy questions that come together, there can be great discussions about whether or not there is some bias that is brought to it," Murkowski said. “But when we are looking at future baseline predictions of future energy markets and how different regulatory environments, or different legal scenarios, will change that baseline, this job … becomes more than just a little bit complicated."
She said Capuano’s role must be to “keep us from the politicization, or the bias that one can see,” Murkowski said.
Capuano, a former Marathon Oil executive, responded by saying she will bring her years of experience to sort out data from opinion if appointed to the role of administrator.
"If appointed to this position, I will bring the years of experience I have in technology training and sorting out issues around data versus opinion," Capuano told Murkowski. "And so I am very committed to working with EIA to make sure that the data is high quality, that it’s credible, and that it is not biased. And I’ll just do my best to do that.”