Thursday, June 05, 2008

Diesel-dependent utility in Alaska seeks state aid

"The largest utility in rural Alaska can’t afford to buy next year’s fuel and is asking the state for millions of dollars in help," reports Alex DeMarban of Alaska Newspapers in the chain's Bristol Bay Times. "Board members with Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, which provides power in 53 Interior and Western Alaska villages, declared a “financial emergency” on May 23 because of runaway diesel fuel prices."

The co-op spent $14 million on fuel last year and is expecting to spend $26 million this year, DeMarban reports. According to its top executive, "The cooperative has some money on hand but needs help to prevent a crippling rate increase for customers who can barely pay current bills." It offered an alternative to the plan proposed by Republican Gov. Sarah Palin for the state's utilities, all of which are cooperatives. (Read more)

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