Energy No. 1 priority: Legislature looks to solve high energy prices in the Interior 

By Matt Buxton | Fairbanks Daily News Miner: While the rest of the Capitol Building was stirring awake early Thursday morning, a group of legislators tasked with developing Alaska’s resources to solve the state’s energy problems met for the first time.

It was the Senate Special Committee on In-State Energy and its co-chairs Sens. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, and John Coghill, R-North Pole, say their top priority is to help the Interior.

“I know Fairbanks’ need, there’s no doubt about that, and I’m not leaving Juneau without a solution,” Coghill said after the 7:30 a.m. meeting.

Both Coghill and Bishop said their first priority for the session will to be to address the legislation behind the natural gas trucking plan that Gov. Sean Parnell has proposed. Bishop said it will help settle energy concerns for the state’s second largest community during the next few years, allowing more focus on long-term projects like the Alaska Standalone Pipeline Project.

“We’ll shine the light on the Interior and rural Alaska with our dire straights up there,” he said. “Then we’ll get this trucking project out first and foremost, then we’ll take a look at the pipeline.”

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