Yikes! Alaska Legislator to Public: Mandates, not Markets, are the Energy Solution

Yikes! Alaska Legislator to Public: Mandates, not Markets, are the Energy Solution

March 16, 2023

Some quick background before we talk about eco-stupidity: Alaska is blessed with abundant natural gas reserves.  Nearly 250 trillion cubic feet of gas are currently stranded on Alaska’s North Slope; enough to power the Railbelt for hundreds of years.  The Cook Inlet has been Southcentral Alaska’s main gas source, and there are plenty of untapped reservoirs in the area.  We also have a hundred years or more of known coal reserves through the Usibelli Coal Mine, located in Healy, Alaska, and the current supplier of power to the majority of Denali National Park and towns north to Fairbanks.

Unfortunately, Alaska State Senator Löki Tobin (D-Anchorage) thinks is the solution to the Alaska energy mix for most of the the state’s population, known as the “Railbelt” (from Homer in the south to Fairbanks in the north), is to move away from those sources and to ‘green’ energy.

Name a time in history when manipulating the free market has worked well for consumers.  We’ll wait…and wait…and wait some more.

Tobin, a freshman whose candidacy was endorsed by ultra-radical environmental groups including the Alaska Center (for the Environment), is certainly doing the bidding of her supporters with her introduction of Senate Bill 101 (SB101) yesterday.  The bill would establish a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for the Railbelt, with the ultimate goal of 80% of its energy coming from strictly renewable sources by 2040.

Tobin – and supportive organizations like the Alaska Center, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition and REAP (Renewable Energy Alaska Project) – want us to overlook the fact that renewable energy solutions being pushed through SB101 are less reliable and more expensive to implement and maintain than traditional sources, don’t work year-around and lack the storage capacity to power the grid sufficiently.

They want us to overlook the fact that the U.S. is exceptionally unprepared to supply the technologies and raw materials for their ‘green’ revolution.  By pushing for mandates found in SB101, they empower Communist China, the main suppliers for that ‘green’ tech and materials.  The same groups fighting for a RPS concurrently fight against Alaska’s responsible development projects that could establish domestic supply chains for critical and strategic minerals, copper and other necessary metals.

And – most importantly – they want us to throw away free-market principles and support mandates and manipulations designed to weaken consumer choice, and ultimately,

nothing more than the government picking winners and losers.

That’s not something we’ll ever support.