Parnell’s Budget Cuts Expected, Despite Complaints

Although some areas in the state are bemoaning budget losses, the cuts were not unexpected.  Governor Parnell cited declining oil production as one reason for the cuts, and that decline is spurring inclusion in the budget of money aimed at upgrading infrastructure friendly to oil development.

One of those projects affects Anaktuvuk Pass. The budget includes $8 million for a road to Umiat that will affect the remote community. The road will provide access to mining leases. Anaktuvuk Pass Mayor Esther Hugo has been outspoken in opposing the road.

Despite Parnell’s stated objective to fill up Trans-Alaska Pipeline System with millions of gallons of crude a day,  REAP, or Renewable Energy Alaska Project, director Chris Rose says he’s pleased with the inclusion in the budget of funds aimed at renewable energy projects.

Rose says two other important programs also were fully funded – the emerging energy technology fund and the new revolving loan program which allows commercial entities to borrow money to do energy efficiency projects.

Doug Griffen, city manager in Palmer was also pleased with Governor Parnell’s budget decisions. He says the Matanusaka Valley city avoided all vetoes.

Griffen says a couple of Palmer requests for funding did not even make it into the original budget.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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