by Jessica Goad
Alaska is a very important area for U.S. fossil fuel development. But, somewhat paradoxically, rural Alaska and its 250 Native villages are facing an energy crisis: Residents are forced to burn diesel for electricity; a gallon of gas sells for around $10 in some communities; and gasoline and diesel have been barged in from as far as Russia.
An event called “Challenges and Opportunities for Renewable Energy in Alaska” sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the Alaska Federation of Natives yesterday helped shed light on an extraordinarily important local solution to this energy crisis — renewable energy.
As Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), who spoke at the event, described:
…we bring a lot of people up there to see what the opportunities are. Once they come there and they see for example a windmill working in a small remote village, and what it’s doing and lowering costs, they got it there, they’re maintaining it in very unique conditions, suddenly you get people saying “well maybe there’s something here.” Or some of these other smaller projects. So I think from a private investor standpoint, we are a unique opportunity from that ...