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Resolution on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Rural Alaska

WHEREAS:   Rural Alaska pays the highest energy rates in America. We understand that no single solution can solve our energy crisis; the answer lies in combining local and national efforts in order to diversify our energy options; and

WHEREAS:   Alaska has an outstanding abundance of potential renewable energy sources; and

WHEREAS:   Rural Alaskan communities can play a key role in producing local, clean, and inexhaustible renewable energy; and

WHEREAS:   The Arctic is becoming an environment at risk. To prevent additional harm to our communities and environment we must transform energy production methods and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Alaska has the ability to be a leader in the renewable energy realm. It is within our State’s capacity to deploy existing technologies and embrace forward-thinking policies that can offset our on-going energy crisis; and

WHEREAS:    Science demonstrates that the emissions released from the burning of fossil fuels can be substantially reduced by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in the forms of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal, and biomass; and

WHEREAS:    Since space heating uses over 60% of the fossil fuel consumed in rural Alaska, renewable energy and energy conservation initiatives need to address weatherization and building infrastructure improvements; and

WHEREAS:    A strong stance in support of renewable energy legislation can effectively move Alaskan communities towards energy independence by demonstrating to the United States Congress and the Alaska Legislature the interest that rural communities have in producing renewable energy; and

WHEREAS:    It is our desire and commitment to create new job opportunities for our current and future generations by establishing new projects and partaking in early coalition-building for the protection and sustainable development of renewable energy sources in Alaska and the nation; and

WHEREAS:    Under previously-introduced national renewable electricity standard legislation, renewable energy developed on Native lands would get twice as many renewable electricity credits, and Alaskan utilities could sell their renewable electricity credits to lower 48-utilities that need to satisfy their obligation under the standard; and

WHEREAS:    Efforts have been made in Alaska to urge Congress to act on global warming, however, there are insufficient federal policies that support renewable energy development. With our collaboration, a State wide effort can alter this. We urge Congress to make changes in order for us to survive far into the future, in a capacity that allows us to live sustainably off the land, and protect our subsistence way of life as we have for thousands of years; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:   that Alaska Natives and rural Alaskan communities urge the United States Congress to immediately enact a national renewable electricity standard of at least 25% by 2025 which includes all appropriate renewable energy sources such as wind, in-stream and other appropriate hydro technologies, geothermal, ocean, and solar, and provide double renewable electricity credits on Native lands; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the United States Congress increase funding for the Department of Energy's Tribal Energy program, which provides critical support for the implementation of renewable energy projects, and which is focusing its funding on Alaska; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the United States Congress extends the federal renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives, and that they implement a long-term plan that ensures that renewable energy development will continue, even when the economy slows.

 

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