Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/30/2001 04:55 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          HCR  1-STATEWIDE COMP ENERGY PLAN TASK FORCE                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK FLYNN, aide to Representative  Berkowitz, explained that a                                                              
reliable energy system in Alaska  is, among other things, a public                                                              
health issue. Late  last year when the development  of North Slope                                                              
natural gas  was being discussed, it  was brought to light  that a                                                              
statewide comprehensive energy plan  had never been produced. This                                                              
legislation  establishes  a  task  force  that  will  examine  the                                                              
condition  of Alaska's  energy resources,  identify areas  needing                                                              
improvement and recommend action.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WARD asked for the sunset date.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLYNN said it sunsets on March 1, 2002.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN referred  to page 1, line 10 and  asked whether the                                                              
words "and tribal governments" adds to the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLYNN responded  it recognizes there are  tribal organizations                                                              
providing  energy programs  and  to  the extent  they  can aid  in                                                              
ensuring reliable,  affordable energy in Alaska,  their support is                                                              
welcome.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN  asked whether deleting "tribal  governments" would                                                              
exclude anyone  because it seemed  redundant since  federal, state                                                              
and municipal governments are already included.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FLYNN  said it  would  be exclusionary  because  some  tribal                                                              
governments are not municipal governments.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN thought  he would look into that  because it seemed                                                              
out of place to him.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN  GREEN  looked  at  the list  of  proposed  task  force                                                              
members and  asked for an  explanation of Alaska  Village Electric                                                              
Cooperative (AVEC).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLYNN said  AVEC is an organization that provides  power to 52                                                              
small  villages  throughout  rural Alaska.  Their  prospective  is                                                              
valuable  because  they understand  some  of the  difficulties  of                                                              
providing power in low population areas.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN  GREEN asked if  they are  a part  of the Alaska  Rural                                                              
Electric Cooperative Association (ARECA).                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.   FLYNN  said   they  are   members  of   ARECA.  From   their                                                              
conversations, it  is presumed that their task  force member would                                                              
be from the rail belt region, along the intertie area.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN then asked about  the Alaska Coal Administration.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLYNN explained that the Alaska  Coal Administration felt they                                                              
should be represented  because interior Alaska power  comes almost                                                              
exclusively from coal.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN then asked about the Alaska Audubon Society.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLYNN  said they  recognize the  efforts to provide  interties                                                              
and   additional   power   production  in   Alaska   have   caused                                                              
difficulties  with conservation  groups. A  frequent complaint  is                                                              
that they  are not invited to  the table. Therefore,  when several                                                              
conservation organizations asked  to be included they decided this                                                              
was  a  reasonable  request.  Initially   they  asked  the  Alaska                                                              
Conservation  Alliance  to  join   the  task  force  but  received                                                              
complaints from other members.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN  said she  did not intend  to move the  bill from                                                              
committee that day.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WARD asked  about the possibility that  the Alaska Audubon                                                              
Society member be  replace by a member from the  Alaska Federation                                                              
of Natives (AFN).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLYNN  said AFN was contacted  and that although they  are not                                                              
opposed to the idea, neither are they overly enthusiastic.                                                                      
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN held SCS CSHCR 1 (STA) in committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                

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