Rural Alaska reeling over veto of $25 million 

By Margaret Bauman for the Bristol Bay Times: High fuel prices and uncertainty about where future power will come from is the focus of a clean energy conference, coming on the heels of a veto by Gov. Sean Parnell of half of the $50 million legislators approved for the Alaska Renewable Energy Grant Fund. The 2010 Business of Clean Energy in Alaska conference, organized by the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, is designed to show Alaska’s leaders how to build a more sustainable energy future for the state, and tap into the worldwide $155 billion-a-year clean energy market.

The event, slated for June 17-18 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, will feature notable renewable energy and energy efficiency experts from Alaska, the Lower 48, Canada and Iceland. Conference information is at www.BCEAconference.com

“Since Alaska has high energy costs, a relatively inefficient housing stock, a cold climate and abundant renewable energy resources, we have both the incentive and the opportunity to make clean energy a significant part of our economy,” said Chris Rose, executive director of REAP.

Still Rose and others, including Meera Kohler, president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, which serves 53 communities in Interior and Western Alaska, were reeling in shock from Parnell’s decision to veto $25 million of the $50 million approved by legislators for renewable energy projects. Read more

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