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Rural Alaska presents unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to energy. On the one hand, fuel is expensive and scarce, but on the other, Alaskan innovators are on the front lines of developing a truly sustainable energy strategy that has the potential to be exported across the world.
The need for immediate attention to the rural energy crisis in Alaska could not be clearer. High gas and oil prices, along with the effects of rapid climate change, are severely impacting rural native villages. The cost of living relative to income in village Alaska is growing. Dollars that would otherwise be used for growth in personal, business, and community-related spending are now being consumed largely by the growing costs of all forms of energy. The rural energy crisis is crippling for both individuals and communities. Something has to change.
Julie Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives
Discussion: Challenges and Opportunities for Renewable Energy in Alaska
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Chairman, Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
John Podesta, Chair, Center for American Progress
Panel I: Outlook from the Federal Government
Steven Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
David Hayes, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
Carol Browner, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Panel II: Outlook from Outside the Beltway
Scott Borgerson, Managing Director, CargoMetrics, Inc.
Marie Greene, President & CEO, NANA Regional Corporation
Gwen Holdmann, Director, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Byron Mallott, President & CEO (Retired), First Alaskans Institute
Ethan Schutt, Senior Vice President, Land & Energy Development Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI)
Tom Kenworthy, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress