Gov. Parnell’s veto hits renewable energy projects in SE Alaska 

By Pat Forgey at the Juneau Empire: Gov. Sean Parnell’s cuts to renewable energy projects, including some important to Southeast, are receiving criticism – and many questions. The cuts came while other energy projects aimed at oil and gas development received funding. Parnell slashed in half the $50 million renewable energy grant fund approved by the Legislature, and also cut by half appropriations made for individual hydroelectric projects in Sitka and Ketchikan.

“It seems like there were a lot of energy projects that were vetoed, and I’m not sure why he did that,” said Rep. Kyle Johansen, R-Ketchikan and House Majority Leader.

Ketchikan had requested $16.7 million for its Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project, but Parnell surprised local leaders by slashing that to $1 million. Johansen said he was surprised by the cut, because he’d talked about the project with Parnell, and heard no objections to it. Parnell’s Office of Management and Budget said the project could be funded in future years. Read more

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