Senator unveils plan to fund energy projects statewide

From The Tundra Drums, Thursday, January 6, 2011:

Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, this week pre-filed her proposal to create a mechanism for funding energy projects throughout Alaska, said a press release from the Legislature.

“Over the last two years, the Legislature has made a concerted effort to address the energy challenges facing Alaskans by fostering renewable energy, encouraging innovation, and increasing efficiency,” said Senator McGuire. “Although we have made substantial progress, the challenges ahead are daunting. Billions of dollars need to be invested in energy infrastructure over the next 10 years in every part of Alaska. With oil production declining and our long term fiscal future in question, we cannot continue to rely on the same old solutions and regional politics to solve our energy challenges.

Senator McGuire’s proposal, Alaska’s Sustainable Strategy for Energy Transmission and Supply (ASSETS), would expand the authority of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) to invest in energy infrastructure projects. The bill proposes the state expand AIDEA’s balance sheet by investing $2 billion in surplus revenues into AIDEA over the next three years and that AIDEA’s authorization to issue bonds for energy infrastructure projects is increased to $2 billion.

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