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Alaska energy price solution requires creative thinking

Posted: July 18, 2012 - 9:11am

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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Raoulduke 07/18/12 - 07:52 pm
fuel costs

The gross acts of graft,and corruption in this states political system.Will control any consultants results to favor the energy companies,and the pockets of the states politician's.Changing Consultants will not make any difference in the way business is done.The Alaskan will get the short end of the stick as long as the Alaskan continues to re elect these people.The Republican controlled state house has stonewalled any regulatory commission inception.So! keep complaining,and continue to re elect as the voters have done for far to many years.The states citizens are getting ripped off,and seem to not care.Because you get exactly what you want through your vote.

spwright 07/19/12 - 08:45 am
Voter Apathy

Mr Hill,
I know that YOU make the Time to Vote but You are the small minority of of Un-Declared Alaskans to do actually Vote.

Independent Un-Declared Alaskans are the Majority here On the Kenai 53%

This group of Alaskan Residents are neither Republican or Democrat & they actually believe that They are Morally Superior to Republican or Democrats.

But They can't be bothered with such a worthless task such as Voting. It's beyond their status to wait in line to Vote.

Un-Declared Voters refuse to participate in Democracy but they do the most whining & complaining & Demand that Their Voice be Heard. Then make all sorts of Lame Excuses not to vote.

It's very Simple : IF You are American then You Will VOTE !

SPW Soldotna

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