SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Energy Recommendations Released


October 19, 2009

Anchorage, Alaska - Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) and Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage), chairs of the Alaska State Senate Resources and Energy Committees, today released a series of recommendations designed to promote more reliable and affordable energy for Alaskans.

"This is a plan to help Alaskan families save money and make Alaskan businesses more profitable and competitive," Senator Wielechowski said. "It will help ensure that Alaska has a robust economy, fueled by affordable and abundant energy."

The draft plan released today establishes seven energy goals for the state and sets out a detailed list of recommendations to achieve them.

Goal 1: Ensure all Alaskans have access to reliable energy supplies at the lowest cost over the long·term.

Goal 2: Develop Alaska's energy resources in a responsible manner to sustain Alaska's economy and provide for the growth of Alaska's communities and industries.

Goal 3: Ensure continued responsible exploration and development of Alaska's oil and gas resources and manage these resources for the maximum long·term benefit of all Alaskans.

Goal 4: Reduce the dependence of Alaskan communities on fossil fuels for electricity and heat by developing our renewable and alternative energy resources and by promoting energy efficiency and conservation.

Goal 5: Strive to produce 50% renewable energy by 2025 and to increase energy efficiency by 10% by 2015.

Goal 6: Maintain a commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible resource development, anticipating the environmental effects of and regulatory response to climate change.

Goal 7: Promote energy research at Alaska's universities, energy education in our public schools, and workforce development programs at our post·secondary institutions and vocational schools.

"The recommendations focus on improving energy efficiency, among many other strategies," said Senator Lesil McGuire. "Increasing efficiency is a way to cut costs without compromising comfort or productivity. Energy efficiency is a way to do the same or more with less, to use energy smartly."

McGuire said the recommendations also call for investing more in renewable energy with tax credits and low-interest loans. "While we recognize that Alaska relies on fossil fuels for the vast majority of its power production and heating, we have seen the benefits of transitioning to more local, sustainable, and flat-priced sources of energy," McGuire said. "Southeast Alaska with its interconnected hydro systems is a model for other parts of the state."

Senator Wielechowski emphasized that the recommendations will help the state and its families move towards greater energy independence. "This report is a call to action. Alaska's energy future depends on what we do now," Senator Wielechowski said. "With oil prices on the rise again, Alaska is at a crossroads. We need to invest now for Alaska's long-term benefit." He added, "This plan is an effort to shine the light on one of Alaska's most pressing needs and offer solutions that can move Alaska forward for decades."

Senator McGuire agreed. "It's appropriate that on Alaska Day we release these recommendations. They are a way to ensure a strong Alaska for decades to come, with families that can afford to heat and power their homes, drive to school and work, and build profitable businesses."

Alaskans are encouraged to submit comments and suggestions to address the state's energy needs. Submit comments online at

On the Web:

Download the 50 page Draft Report and Recommendations pdf

Source of News:

Alaska Senate Bipartisan Working Group


E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2009
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska