As a concerned citizen, I'm writing about the welfare of the state of Alaska and its present and future energy needs. I attended a meeting of SEAK Solutions on Jan. 30. The group concerns included renewable energy in Alaska, especially villages, and making biodiesel fuel in Juneau.
One item that stuck out in my mind was the great differential between $1.24 per kilowatt hour in the villages compared to $0.12 in Juneau. The high cost in the villages comes as a result of the high price to ship the diesel by plane. Comments made at the meeting regarding a "one state, one rate" program were mentioned in hopes of setting a standard cost of energy around the state of Alaska.
In light of the house bill on renewable energy and the Governor's pledge of $250 million in her budget for renewable energy, I would like to see the Juneau Empire research this further. State Rep. Beth Kerttula said earlier this week at the Native Issues Forum, "We stand to fall together," in regards to the capital move. I think that idea applies to our energy situation as well.
The cost of energy in the villages could potentially be lowered by a program such as the one mentioned above or when government money for renewable energy becomes available. We need to educate ourselves and ask for action from state legislators, community leaders and people affected by high energy prices.