Alaska News Nightly: June 2, 2008

Alaska Natives were on Capitol Hill today to rally for the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill. Plus, the price of gas is jumping by more than a dollar in many Western Alaska communities, as the first fuel deliveries of the year arrive. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Climate bill advances in Senate; Murkowski and Stevens uncommitted, concerned
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The U.S. Senate today voted to move ahead with debate on the bipartisan Lieberman-Warner climate change bill. It’s aimed at reducing and capping human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and regulating them with a credit trading system.

Hydropower returns to Juneau; utility asking for cost recovery
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Hydropower has been restored in Juneau. Alaska Electric Light and Power flipped the switch about 9:00 p.m. last night, putting the Snettisham facility back on line. AEL&P is spending millions of dollars to repair the lines. But there isn’t much federal help available to the company — or the city — without a disaster declaration. Now U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is asking Governor Sarah Palin to reconsider her decision not to grant a state disaster declaration for Juneau.

Western Alaska gas prices leap as summer barges arrive
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The price of gas and heating oil is jumping up around Western Alaska as the first fuel deliveries of the season arrive. Gas prices in Togiak, Ekwok and St. Mary’s are all going up at least a dollar. In Bethel, the price shot up $1.13 today. It’s now selling for $5.77 per gallon.

Can the Alaska Energy Authority help you save energy and money?
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
Around 20 people attended the Alaska Energy Authority town hall meeting held in Wrangell last week. Attendees were mostly Wrangell residents, but some were from Petersburg and other communities in southeast Alaska. All were eager to see how the state can help solve their energy problems.

SeaLife Center loses another stranded sea lion
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
Alaska lost another sea lion over the weekend. Axel, a California sea lion, died at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward last Friday.

Tlingtit warrior helmet fetches more than $2 million at auction
Jennifer Canfield, KNBA – Anchorage
A Tlingit warrior helmet sold at an east-coast auction recently to an anonymous private collector for $2.2 million. The hat had been in the possession of a woman who wasn’t even aware of what it was.

Medium-speed electric car not yet welcome by Alaska’s DMV
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
A Sitka resident’s efforts to register her electric car may lead to a change in state law. Megan Pasternak’s ZENN car was equipped to travel at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, but she’s had to settle for a much-less-convenient 25 miles per hour in order to get it registered. Pasternak believes Alaska should join two other states in paving the way for medium-speed cars.