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Monday, February 19 2018 @ 12:49 AM AKST

Governor Responds to EPA Clean Power Plan

EnergyGovernor Bill Walker said he is encouraged the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Alaska’s unique circumstances in not including the state in goals established under the agency’s Clean Power Plan.

The rule establishes state-specific goals for the 48 contiguous states to limit carbon emissions from larger public power plants. However, because of Alaska’s isolated energy infrastructure and limited grid system, the EPA ruled there is not enough information on what reductions are feasible in Alaska to set goals here at this time.

“Alaska has over 200 small utilities across the state, and a very limited power grid on the railbelt. Requiring our state to abide by ‘one-size-fits-all’ standards could potentially increase our energy costs, which are already the highest in the nation,” said Governor Walker. “I am pleased that the EPA has recognized the unique circumstances Alaska is facing, and I look forward to working with the agency officials to come up with appropriate goals for the state in the near future.”

In a call with state officials, the agency said there was not enough information at this time about how much carbon emissions states and commonwealths that were not part of large regional power grids would be able to cut using the means outlined in the final rule. EPA officials said they would start work soon towards setting goals for Alaska and the other islanded states, but did not set a deadline for accomplishing this task.

“Alaska can and should be a leader in affordable, clean energy development,” said Governor Walker. “However, this has to be on Alaska’s terms given how unique our state is.”

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