ENERGY COSTS HURTING SCHOOLS,
New report shows staggering
November 16, 2009
Anchorage, Alaska As school districts and local governments
across the state are facing budget shortfalls, a report released
today by Rep. Pete Petersen (D-Anchorage) shows that Alaska's
high energy costs are making these problems worse. Petersen
serves on the House Energy Committee which is working to create
a statewide energy policy and on Tuesday will be taking testimony
from mayors from across the state about their communities energy
"High fuel prices have caused communities and school districts
to consider painful cuts to services," said Petersen. "I
look forward to hearing from the mayors about the individual
energy needs of their communities."
Mayors from all four corners
of the state will tell the House Special Committee on Energy
what their communities are looking for in a statewide energy
plan on Tuesday, November 17th at the Anchorage LIO at 3:00 p.m.
The hearing is part of the 2009 Alaska Municipal League Conference
scheduled for next week in downtown Anchorage.
While the Anchorage School District is facing up to $15 million
in budget cuts, the report shows that ASD heating fuel costs
have risen from less than $2.5 million in fiscal year 2004 to
more than $5.6 million in FY2009. ASD vehicle fuel costs rose
from less than $1 million in FY2006 to more than $1.5 million
in FY2009. The Mat-Su School District, whose budget woes have
lead to a labor dispute with their classified employees, has
seen its heating fuel costs rise from less than $1 million in
FY2006 to more than $1.5 million in FY2009, and their vehicle
fuel costs go from $119,540 in FY2008 to $177,299 in FY2009.
"Every dollar communities must pay to cover our high fuel
costs is a dollar that could have gone into improving schools,
hiring police officers, or providing property tax relief,"
Petersen said. "It is clear that one of the most important
things the Legislature can do for our communities is to take
action to reduce fuel costs now."
This report was prepared for Petersen by the nonpartisan Legislative
Research Services, which provides unbiased research for legislators,
and details the amount of money spent by boroughs, school districts,
and state government on heating fuel, electricity and vehicle
Petersen is the lead sponsor of HB 68 which would prohibit oil
refineries from charging excessive or exorbitant prices for gasoline,
diesel or heating oil.
Sources of News:
Office of Representative Pete
Alaska Legislature House Special
Committee on Energy
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