Public Hearing On Alaskan Energy Costs Held

Since Gas Pricing Deemed Legal, Alternatives Sought.

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by Mike Ford

If the high price of gas has you wondering why such a huge oil producing state continues to pay so much at the pump, you are not alone. A handful of Alaskan legislators heard testimony on that very subject in Anchorage today.

Senators hearing today from members of the Regulatory Commission, the Attorney Generals office and frustrated Alaskan residents. With two refiners in Alaska there is no actual monopoly but competition is not as fierce as it is in the lower forty eight.

Rural and interior families and businesses are paying out nearly 600 million for energy each year and this group is seeking ways to reduce energy costs.

Possible solutions so far include giving tax incentives for gas production.Building storage facilities that energy companies from the lower 48 could utilize was also talked about and regulating gas as we do electricity and natural gas.

Since the Attorney general said Alaskan refiners are within their rights to charge what ever they want, alternative solutions will continue to be sought out by legislators.

Last April Senator Bill Wielechowski requested $150,000 from the senate finance committee to study this subject. A request the Wielechowski defends. The Anchorage Democrat says the move will pay big dividends if Alaskan law makers have the will to take action.

The next public hearing is slated for the fall in Fairbanks.

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Anonymous said on Thursday, Jul 12 at 11:56 AM

Alaskans are being raped by having the benefits of even our own royalty share of natural gas withheld from the world market, which would support the natural gas product industry here in Alaska once again. Withholding natural gas product "availability" from Alaskans, drives the market for oil higher in Alaska, as that`s all that`s left to use to refine those vital products. There is no argument. A gasline to valdez would change the paradigm and make all this moot. The view from 30,000 feet demands we build that gasline, and soon. More so while interest rates, steel costs, and labor costs are all at rock bottom. This wide open economic window for LNG won`t always be there. We need to push the slope producers to the wall to get our royalty gas to ourselves at least. A GTL plant would compete with the normal refinery process as it would produce low-sulfur fuels far more efficiently than oil.. an added bonus. A GTL plant is being built in Ohio for 300 million that will produce 200,000 bpd.

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