Energy Main Concern At Constituent Meetings
Alaska lawmakers met with local constituents on Saturday to discuss current issues the legislature is working on and how it will affect the district and the rest of the state.
Alaska lawmakers met with local constituents on Saturday to discuss current issues the legislature is working on and how it will affect their districts and the rest of the state.
More than 100 local residents attended two constituent meetings that took place across Anchorage to voice their concerns about the community.
One of the concerns many residents expressed to lawmakers was how they planned to fill the declining Trans-Alaska Pipeline, along with the prospect of moving a natural gas pipeline forward.
“When you look at the results of the ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share) tax structure, the state has gotten revenue into its coffers, but the production rate hasn’t gone up,” Sen. Lesil Mcguire, R-Anchorage, said. “So while we're bringing money into the state, we’re losing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which is our main artery of life.”
Several legislators say they are working to find ways to fill the pipeline including lowering the current tax structure rates in an effort to get more oil companies to invest in the state.
“ The main mission is to keep oil in the pipeline. We’re faced with a diminished flow of six to seven percent a year, there's a point when that pipeline will shut down,” Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said.
Aside from pipeline concerns there was also discussion about the prospect of a natural gas pipeline in the state, which lawmakers say will be a tough challenge.
“I think we have to look at other alternatives, because I think the ability for us to build a pipeline and send it to the lower 48 in today’s environment is pretty shaky right now,” Johnson said.
But first and foremost lawmakers say the conversation needs to focus on filling the pipeline.