Alaska energy price solution requires creative thinking

A couple of years ago I requested to be on the distribution list for Representative Les Gara's newsletter. I did this because a friend forwarded one to me and I found his opinions enlightening.

Today, I received the latest newsletter from Les's office. It states that Alaskans are on the short end of the stick when it comes to why we pay such high fuel prices. He identifies two ways that are being kicked around to control gas prices in the state. First, gasoline sales can be put under a regulatory commission like utilities with regulated profit margins so they make a profit but not gouge the consumer. Second, as recently identified in the Anchorage Daily News is the construction of gasoline storage tanks. Gasoline would be purchased outside of Alaska and shipped to the Alaska site and perhaps sold through major chains like Costco and Fred Meyer. This competition would keep the prices down. The latter option, however, would initially cost the state several million dollars.

According to Representative Gara, for several years a group of legislators in Juneau have submitted legislation to place gas sales under a regulatory commission. But, it appears that the Republican majority, along with the governor, have seen to it to shoot this idea down every time it has a possibility of become law.

I applaud the team that came up with the storage tank idea. However, I wonder how much it will really cost the state to set up an operation like this. First, I don't recall the exact cost of a million gallon storage facility, as stated in the article, but it was several million dollars. Finally, how much is it going to cost to administer that kind of operation?

Adding it to the Regulatory Commission workload seems a much cheaper way to go all the way around. It seems the governor and several members of the Republican party can't get the state wallet out fast enough to give our money away. I really get the idea they are afraid of major oil.

I'm registered as undeclared for voting purposes. I favor no party, but give credit to those who I believe are working toward the things I believe are in the best interest of the state. I also have no qualms about criticism of those who don't.


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