Parnell zapped for renewable energy fund cuts 

By Tim Bradner at the Alaska Journal of Commerce: Gov. Sean Parnell is taking flak for his June 3 vetoes of state funds for energy projects.

“The governor has talked a lot about how we have to be fiscally conservative, but these are projects that will make our communities more self-reliant and less dependent on diesel, and state Power Cost Equalization funds, in five to 10 years,” when petroleum revenues will be sharply lower, said Bob Venables, energy director for the Southeast Conference, the economic development association for Southeast Alaska.

Parnell slashed a number of renewable energy projects, cutting $25 million of a $50 million appropriation to the state’s renewable energy grant program; reducing $16.7 million for the Whitman Lake hydro project near Ketchikan to $1 million; cutting $15 million in funding for the expansion of Sitka’s Blue Lake hydro project to $6 million; eliminating $7 million for Homer Electric Association for a wind project near Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula; and reducing a $2 million appropriation for Naknek Electric Association’s geothermal project to $750,000. Read more

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