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
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
"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
"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.
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