SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Resource Rebate, AGIA Top Special Session Accomplishments


August 09, 2008

Alasak Governor Sarah Palin on Thursday thanked state lawmakers for addressing Alaskans' energy needs in the recently completed special sessions, both in the short term by passing an energy relief package, and in the long term by authorizing a gasline license under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

"The members of the Alaska Legislature worked honorably and diligently in the past two months to deal with these critical issues facing our state. I join with all Alaskans in recognizing and thanking them for their accomplishments," Governor Palin said.

Resource Rebate and Energy

The most recent accomplishment came late Thursday as the Legislature passed Senate Bill 4002, which uses revenues generated from the state's resources to provide a one-time special payment of $1,200 to each Alaskan eligible for the 2008 Permanent Fund Dividend. The bill will also provide energy relief.

"After funding the state's priorities, putting billions away in savings and still seeing a budget surplus, the Legislature agreed to a special one-time payment, sharing part of our resource wealth with Alaskans, who under our Constitution are the owners in common of these resources, and who I believe can decide better than government how to use that share."

The energy package totals $910.5 million. In addition to the $1,200 resource rebate to Alaskans, the bill also makes a 50 percent increase in the maximum loan amount for bulk fuel bridge and bulk fuel revolving loan funds to communities and cooperatives, up to $750,000. It also suspends the state's motor fuel tax on gasoline, marine fuel, and aviation fuel for a year and strengthens the Power Cost Equalization Program.

Legislators also included an additional $60 million for the Home Energy Rebate Program operated by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and $50 million in supplemental funds to the Renewable Energy Fund bringing the total available for renewable energy projects in FY 2009 to $100 million.

"Legislators provided Alaskans with a strong and diverse package of short-term energy assistance," said the Governor. "We can build on this good work as we bring forward a much more comprehensive energy package for consideration in the next regular session."

"It is also important to remember that all Alaskans have a tool already available to them to help with high energy costs: conservation," Governor Palin said. "As Alaskans prepare for winter, there are some immediate steps that we can take to help reduce energy costs and lower the burden of these high prices."

Alaska Gasline Inducement Act

The second major accomplishment was the historic action of August 1, when the state Senate joined the House in passing House Bill 3001. The bill authorizes the administration to award the AGIA license to TransCanada Alaska to permit, develop and build a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline from a natural gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope to the Alberta Hub in Canada.

"Because of the wisdom and foresight of this Legislature, we can finally look ahead to actually bringing Alaska's natural gas from the North Slope to our homes, to our businesses, and to our fellow Americans in the Lower 48," Governor Palin said. "This action represents a critical step toward the future of resource development for our state."

Legislators also appropriated $35.5 million for gas pipeline expenditures, including reimbursements for allowable expenditures under the AGIA license to get moving toward a gasline.



Source of News:

Office of the Governor


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska