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Legislative Information Office in Anchorage, Rm. #220
716 W 4th Avenue
Tuesday, Nov 17
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Bill Popp, of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, and REAP Exec. Dir. Chris Rose will speak on the Statewide Energy Policy Bill on Nov. 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Legislative Information Office in downtown Anchorage.

Up to 40 mayors from around the state are scheduled to attend the committee hearing. They will testify about what their communities are looking for in a statewide energy plan, potential legislation and state funding for energy projects.This meeting is part of the Alaska Municipal League Conference being held at the Captain Cook Hotel.

Alaska currently lacks an overall energy policy that frames how Alaskans produce and consume energy for themselves. Such a policy would set an overall direction for the state and guide the many energy programs currently in

chris_small1-372x560Look for REAP Executive Director Chris Rose at Chena Hot Springs this weekend. He is among those testifying at a Senate Energy and Resources Committee field hearing being held there Saturday. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is chairing the hearing, which is on the status of renewable energy technology with a focus on issues involving rural energy projects.

UPDATE: The hearing, and the Renewable Energy Fair at Chena, received widespread coverage from KTUU and in this story from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

FAIRBANKS — Utilize Alaska as a renewable energy laboratory for the nation and place a moratorium on costly, time-consuming federal permits for innovative, renewable energy projects were two of many ideas presented at a U.S. Senate field hearing Saturday, presided over by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Murkowski is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.Energy leaders from across the state attended two morning panels, presenting their projects, pitfalls and ideas about renewable energy power sources and production.

The “Clean Energy Revolution” using renewable resources is the biggest revolution since the Industrial Revolution, said Chris Rose, executive director of Renewable Energy Alaska Project in Anchorage…..

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The state legislature has called a special session for this coming Monday, August 10th, to override former Governor Sarah Palin’s veto of $28.6 million in federal stimulus funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Governor Sean Parnell has said he’ll request the funds from the federal government if it takes place.  Alaska was the only state to refuse the money.

So what could the money be used for?
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation in March created a planned list of uses for the $28.6 million. The money would go to programs administered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and the Alaska Energy Authority. The list included programs to:
– develop statewide greenbuilding standards
– provide rebates to residents who set up renewable energy systems
– pay for energy efficiency education workshops
– fund weatherization upgrades of homes
– provide matching funds for energy audits of commercial facilities in the state.
– provide rebates, incentives or payments for commerical, industrial and institutional facilities installing energy efficent equipment.
– fund research and development on renewable energy systems for communities to provide both electricity and heat.

Let your legislator know how you feel about this important issue.  Every constituent’s voice is important.  For legislative contact information click HERE

Southwest Washington’s high-tech industry is wising up to the business opportunities in the smart grid — also called the Internet for the electrical power grid.

Bringing the nation’s aging electrical grid into the information age will require overlaying the existing grid with a digital communications system that includes sensors, controls and wireless devices. Such systems, proponents say, will give utilities more precise control over power production and distribution that in turn creates energy savings, increases power quality and reliability, and allows more renewable energy sources to come online. Consumers will also gain more control over their energy costs through flexible utility rates and in-home monitoring devices a smart grid would allow.

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As the most ambitious energy and climate-change legislation ever introduced in Congress made its way to a floor vote last Friday, it grew fat with compromises, carve-outs, concessions and out-and-out gifts intended to win the votes of wavering lawmakers and the support of powerful industries.

The bill was freighted with hundreds of pages of special-interest favors, even as environmentalists lamented that its greenhouse-gas reduction targets had been whittled down.

The biggest concessions went to utilities, which wanted assurances that they could continue to operate and build coal-burning power plants without shouldering new costs. The utilities received not only tens of billions of dollars worth of free pollution permits, but also billions for work on technology to capture carbon-dioxide emissions from coal combustion to help meet future pollution targets.

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President Obama announced tougher energy efficiency requirements for certain types of fluorescent and incandescent lighting on Monday, the latest step in the administration’s push to cut the country’s energy use.

The new rule, scheduled to take effect in 2012, will cut the amount of electricity used by affected lamps by 15 to 25 percent and save $1 billion to $4 billion a year for consumers, the White House said.

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Yesterday, February 17, 2009, the Joint Legislative Budget and Audit Committee of the Alaska State Legislature made history by committing an unprecedented $100 million to the development of renewable energy projects across Alaska. The projects, totaling 77 in all, range from a wind farm in Unalakleet to solar PV construction in Ambler. The recipients come from the Round I applications to the Alaska Renewable Energy Grant Fund, a piece of legislation passed last year to help finance the construction and pre-construction of renewable energy projects across Alaska.  Round II applications are currently being vetted by the Alaska Energy Authority. However, the legislature has yet to appropriate the next $50 million for Round II projects.

Badly outnumbered and months behind in the debate on energy and climate change, House Republicans plan to introduce an energy bill on Wednesday as an alternative to the Democratic plan barreling toward a House vote this month.

The Republican proposal, drafted by a group led by Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, leans heavily on nuclear power, setting a goal of building 100 reactors over the next 20 years. No new nuclear plants have been ordered in the United States since 1978 because of the high cost of construction and uncertainty about regulatory approval.

The bill also provides incentives for increased oil and gas production on public and private lands and offshore. It would also authorize oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, a focus of 30 years of controversy in Congress.

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The Senate Energy Committee is working its way through a massive draft energy bill that focuses heavily on renewable power.  Tomorrow the committee will gather to “mark-up” or debate and amend the legislation.  Their focus will be a national renewable electricity standard.

Download the audio report here

On May 21, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 2454, “The American Clean Energy and Security Act,” by a vote of 33 to 25.  The legislation is a comprehensive approach to America’s energy policy that charts a new course towards a clean energy economy.  The American Clean Energy and Security Act will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. 

The bill includes:

  • A clean energy title that promotes renewable sources of energy, carbon capture and sequestration technologies, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission.
  • An energy efficiency title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry.
  • A global warming title that places limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants.  This legislation would cut global warming pollution by 17% compared to 2005 levels in 2020, by 42% in 2030, and by 83% in 2050.  These are science-based targets and within the range agreed to by USCAP.
  • A title that protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.

Read the summary here

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