Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, December 10, 2004

Report: More gas line incentives needed

WASHINGTON - Alaska's natural gas line may need more incentives to be feasible, energy experts say in a new report.

The National Commission on Energy Policy report released Wednesday was largely funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Other contributors included the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Energy Foundation.

The commission's goal, with $5 million in research money, was to conduct an independent study of long-term energy policies. The commissioners included people from the industry, academia and the environmental community.

The report opens with a recommendation to improve oil security. It recommends "increasing and diversifying world oil production," but makes no specific mention of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in that context.

While domestic oil development is "highly important to the nation's economy and energy security," it can't keep up with demand, the report's executive summary stated. Therefore, a sole focus on achieving U.S. energy independence would be "misplaced," it said.

Another chapter, devoted to expanding energy supplies, talks about natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy, but not oil.

Hit-and-run driver kills Fairbanks horse

FAIRBANKS - A quarter horse that had escaped its pen was killed by a hit-and-run driver as rescuers tried to help if off an icy road.

Lonesome, a 26-year-old male, was killed Tuesday on Farmers Loop north of Fairbanks, according to Andi Christman, an animal control officer for the Fairbanks North Star Borough. As of Thursday, the driver had not been found.

The officer was called to the road after receiving a report of four loose horses.

Lonesome, owned by Michael and Susie Carney, was crossing the road at about 6 p.m. when it slipped on ice and fell, Christman said.

Christman and witnesses, including snowplow truck driver Matt Cole, were trying to help the horse get up when the officer saw a white extended-cab pickup truck with a blue stripe barreling toward them, she said.

"From what it looked like to me, the truck didn't even try to stop," Christman said.

The officer alerted Cole to get out of the way and then heard a thud. The truck smashed into and over the horse, the animal control officer said. "He died pretty quickly," she said.

Neither Christman nor any witnesses saw the truck's license plate in the dark, the officer said. The truck continued on and may have turned onto a cross street.

Former manager charged with fraud

ANCHORAGE - A former branch manager of a credit union has been charged with illegally taking more than $627,000 over 10 years.

The U.S. attorney's office charged Marilyn Lee Petersen, 57, of Anchorage, with five counts of bank fraud on Monday. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each count.

Charging documents say Petersen used customers' names and money to get loans in addition to taking $120,000 from the credit union's vault in June.

As branch manager of Alaska Airlines Employees Federal Credit Union, Petersen was responsible for all operations, including approving loans, ordering cash, auditing the credit union's vault and training employees, according to prosecutors.

The credit union is a nonprofit, member-owned credit union for Alaska Airlines employees.



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