Murkowski warns of decline in federal dollars for energy projects

By September 27, 2011Federal Government

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski says reducing the high cost of energy is the best way to promote economic growth in the state.

But she says the new focus on spending cuts in Washington, D.C. will mean less federal money to help build Alaska’s energy infrastructure.

“Federal support for R & D will continue,” Murkowski says. “But funding to actually help build out the facilities – like the government did when APA built the Snettisham and built the Eklutna hydroelectric projects – not going to come as easily as it has in the past.”

Murkowski was speaking this morning (Tuesday) at the Alaska Rural Energy Conference in Juneau.

She suggested the State of Alaska, which currently enjoys a budget surplus thanks to oil tax revenues, could make up for some of the decline in federal spending. She also urged private industry to invest in Alaska energy projects.

“The private sector is working on a lot of new technologies that will need to be demonstrated on a smaller scale before expanding into larger markets. So we can be viewed as an opportunity for them,” says Murkowski. “I’ve always said, let us be the pilot projects up here in Alaska. If we can make it pencil out here where our energy costs are higher than anywhere in the country, think about what that demonstrates for the success of the project.”

The seventh annual Rural Energy Conference is going on through Thursday at Juneau’s Centennial Hall.

Recent headlines

  • Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield/KTOO)Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield/KTOO)

    Bartlett hospital reaches agreement with union

    The Juneau Assembly will be asked next week to approve $3.06 million in pay increases for employees at Bartlett Regional Hospital. That's after the city-owned hospital's board of directors approved a tentative agreement with its unionized workforce after more than a year of negotiations that ended with the help of federal mediators.

    Asian tapeworm found in Alaskan salmon of Kenai Peninsula coast

    Scientists recently announced they had found an Asian tapeworm species in pink salmon caught off the coast of the Kenai Peninsula. In a recent study, a team of scientists identified a Japanese broad tapeworm larva in pink salmon caught in Resurrection Creek near Hope. The study appears in the February issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
  • Overdue snowmachiner succumbed to hypothermia, state troopers believe

    An overdue snowmachiner, who was traveling to Fairbanks from Shungnak, by way of Huslia, has been found dead near Selawik Hot Springs. Travis Loughridge, 27, left Shungnak about noon Saturday and was expected to arrive in Fairbanks by Monday evening.
  • Juneau city hall welcome sign - CBJ website

    Juneau’s legislators talks fiscal crisis with Assembly

    Juneau's state legislative delegation told a half-dozen members of the Juneau Assembly on Thursday morning that the state's budget outlook isn't rosy. Democratic Sen. Dennis Egan said there are real risks to middle-class public sector jobs under threat by budget cuts.