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Alaska lawmaker wants coal plant without fed regs

Posted: March 23, 2014 - 9:41pm

JUNEAU (AP) — A Republican senator says Alaska should ignore federal regulations and plan to build a large-scale coal-powered plant to generate electricity in the event of an energy crisis.

Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, is sponsoring a resolution asking the governor to consider the feasibility and cost of building power plants on state land “without regard to federal permits or restrictions.”

“There’s going to come a time when a natural event, an economic event, a war, and we’re going to wake up and read headlines, like we did on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and realize the world had changed. And when that happens, we’re going to have another spike in electricity and energy costs that will stagger us,” Kelly told the Senate Finance Committee last week.

The resolution remains in the committee awaiting a cost estimate, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Sunday.

The state should consider building a backup power source and coal is the cheapest and most readily available fuel supply, he said. Pollution restrictions could be overlooked in an emergency.

“The resolution was in response to the fact that the federal government has decided that they don’t like coal, and we’ve got lots of it and we’ve got energy problems,” he said.

Ideally, the state would build a large power plant at the mouth of a coal mine on state land and transmission cables, he said. The plant would be ready to replace oil or gas if an international crisis causes prices to spike.

Carly Wier, a former Alaska Center for the Environment employee, called the resolution “irresponsible and reckless” and said it wasted the state money on a polluting source of energy.

In her testimony, Lorali Simon, a spokeswoman for Usibelli Coal Mine, reminded lawmakers that coal is more affordable than even natural gas.

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Norseman 03/24/14 - 06:59 am
How do these idiots get

How do these idiots get elected?

This rates right up there with being one of the dumbest ideas to spew forth from a state legislator.

At the rate the puppets of big oil and coal are manipulating every single facet of "governing and protecting" our State, it won't be long before we have sucked her dry and are left with an unfit place to live.

First our Guvner, the big oil exec, has fired all of the previous guardians who were interested in protecting our states resources, and is filling the vacancies with his oil cronies from out of state who will do what big oil/energy wants em to do.

Then we have a republican majority in Juneau who are busily trashing our state constitution whilst doing the bidding of their lobbyists who are pouring huge amounts of money into their coffers.

Then, the out of state dark money, namely the Koch brothers, are spending millions of dollars in this state in order to get another republican elected who will do exactly what they are told to do.

So keep electing these idiots to office so they can rape and pillage our state owned resources so big energy can continue being the richest corporations in the world.

It is time to start electing people who have a few brain cells left, besides these pawns of big energy.

Raoulduke 03/24/14 - 08:30 pm

They are elected by the ill informed ,or just the die hard straight party line voters. Say! Since the tax break for the oil industry.Have there been more Alaskan's put to work to make any significant difference in the unemployment rate? Now The lobbyist have found the price of another politician.One that doesn't seem to care of the "BLACKENING of the ALASKAN'S PUBLIC LANDS". The overtly corrupt Alaska politician.Values,and Integrity I see of the pocket lining type.

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