Alaska Energy Coordinator Steve Haagenson presents the new Statewide Energy Plan along with (from background left) Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin, Governor’s Press Secretary Bill McAllister, Special Assistant to the Governor Joe Balash and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) building in downtown Anchorage on January 16, 2009.
Governor Palin speaks about Alaska’s Statewide Energy Plan. All photos retrieved from and courtesy of: http://gov.state.ak.us/
On Friday, January 16, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin released Alaska Energy: A First Step Toward Energy Independence (“the plan” or alternatively, “the guide”), in which she called for 50% of Alaska’s energy to be generated by renewable resources by 2025 (Joling, 2009, Â¶2). Joling, 2009 obtained the 50% number from Governor Palin’s gubernatorial website (Energy Guide, 2009, Â¶1).
“The plan calls for Alaskans, the Legislature, local and regional governments, the University of Alaska and the private sector to work together to ensure that by 2025 half of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources” (Energy Guide, 2009, Â¶5).
“’While lower crude oil prices are reducing the costs of energy today, we must remain committed to achieving energy security for our future economic well-being,’ Governor Palin said” (Energy Guide, 2009, Â¶2).
“The guide identifies and prioritizes energy projects; puts into place legal and government structures needed to allow them to go forward; and identifies potential funding sources” (Energy Guide, 2009, Â¶3).
“Palin called for six state utilities that serve most of the population to stop traditional infighting and take a regional approach for new power generation projects that could lower costs” (Joling, 2009, Â¶3).
“Palin also unveiled a guide listing alternative energy assets of every village in Alaska. Those resources can be developed to wean far-flung villages off electricity generated by burning diesel fuel that must be imported by barge or airplane” (Joling, 2009, Â¶4).
“About 24 percent of Alaska’s power already comes from renewable energy, mostly hydropower from the Alaska Panhandle. Reaching Palin’s goal will take major projects to serve Alaska cities that are beyond the reach of single utilities, said Pat Lavin, an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation” (Joling, 2009, Â¶7).
“Joe Balash, Palin’s aide on oil and gas, said there will be a continuing effort to find new power generation sources for the Railbelt, likely through a new corporation that can handle projects beyond the capability of individual utilities. Talks have been ongoing with utilities, he said, and legislation likely will be introduced in the 90-day 2009 session, which kicks off Tuesday” (Joling, 2009, Â¶16).
“The community guide [pictured in the photographs above] is a primer on alternative energy sources as well as an inventory for projects. For example, the accompanying documentation show that Scammon Bay, a mile from the Bering Sea in western Alaska, has the potential for a wind-diesel hybrid project, and that 700 miles to the northeast on the Yukon River, the village of Circle has potential for generating electricity with geothermal resources” (Joling, 2009, Â¶17).
“Palin energy adviser Steve Haagenson, who oversaw the village report, also unveiled the first 77 projects picked for grants from the $100 million Alaska Renewable Energy Fund” (Joling, 2009, Â¶18).
“They range from wind farms in the Aleutians, Kodiak and Delta Junction to a landfill gas recovery project in Anchorage” (Joling, 2009, Â¶19).
Here Governor Palin highlights her expertise on energy matters. This news conference was held on January 16 and received very little coverage. She had addressed an “all of the above approach” on numerous occasions, the most recent being her post-election interview conducted in her kitchen full of moose meat (see my blog A Week’s Worth of Sarah Stuff for the YouTube Interviews.
Though Governor Palin supports responsible drilling in ANWR (and elsewhere), she also supports alternative sources where they’re appropriate and feasible. This is part of her “all of the above approach.”
Governor Palin recognizes with this approach that we must fulfill current needs, while considering the future. Her energy plan should be the model that the Federal government follows.
Governor Palin releases energy guide. (2009, January 20). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved January 20, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1605
Joling, D. (2009, January 16). Palin unveils energy goals for cities, villages. Associated Press. Retrieved January 20, 2009 from: http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/jan/16/palin-unveils-energy-goals-cities-villages/
Alaska Energy: A First Step Toward Energy Independence: ftp://ftp.state.ak.us/incoming/Alaska_Energy.pdf
Alaska Energy Authority: http://www.akenergyauthority.org
Audio Transcript of Sarah’s News Conference: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/audio/011608_EnergyRolloutPresser.mp3
Village assets: ftp://ftp.state.ak.us/transfer/AEA/