Commerce Commissioner Emil Notti was in Nome the other day and, when I asked him what his goals for the department were, responded, in part, with this:
When you start talking about alternative energy, the costs are prohibitive and the hundreds of millions of dollars to put that in place around rural Alaska just take too long to do it if we had the money even. So the other way to approach that is to enable the people out here to earn enough money to pay the cost of fuel and living out here and that means jobs.He had many comments about life in rural Alaska (he is a bit of an expert after all) and many were intelligent and insightful. But this particular cut provoked the longest e-mail I've ever seen in response to one sound bite:
I heard on KNOM, Commissioner Notti's comments on the high cost of renewable energy in rural alaska; that we as a state couldn't afford the investment in renewable energy infrastructure; that economic development and jobs was the answer in rural alaska to the ever increasing cost of heating oil and gasoline.I particularly like the line about hiring VECO to lobby for our interests.
Well, that was a stupid... dumb... and an unreal comment from a commissioner of what... Economic development... community sustainability... where has he been living...urban Alaska! What sandbox has he been playing in?
Does he expect rural alaskans to work on a natural gas pipeline to sustain an urban Alaska...
with an ever increasing world market price for natural gas? Tell me, which Alaskans,
urban or rural... can afford to pay for natural gas to heat homes and power utilities with electricity... how high will the fuel surcharge be... in 5... 10... 20 years...
Doesn't he understand "peak oil depletion"? Tell me again... Commissioner of WHAT?
Doesn't he know that the ever increasing cost of fossil fuels is unsustainable for subsistence
economies in rural Alaska.... and when does urban Alaska become unsustainable...
As customers paying heating and utility bills...What will AVEC and NJU charge this year and every year after.... as fuel increases in price? Is the Commissioner expecting oil and gas to decrease in price over the next 20 years for rural Alaska?
Or will rural Alaskans work in urban Alaska in 9 to 5 jobs and fly home on weekends
to pay the AVEC and heating bills, oh, I forgot the babysitter...
Rural Alaska without renewable energy is the end of sustainability... unless we use past oil profits to build a renewable energy future, we'll be unable to sustain ourselves or have any rural jobs, or continue with subsistence.
We will never control the price of oil and gas. We will control the cost of renewable energy.
It will always be affordable...our way of life is affordable once we adopt renewable technologies. How long has the wind and sun been in rural Alaska?
This is the path we must follow... every windy...sunny day in rural Alaska is another 1000 years of sustainability... we will endure forever with renewables in every village, every home, and with every mode of transportation...
Rural Alaskans own the same resources that urban Alaskans own... the oil and gas on the Northslope... we as Alaskans have an endownment of past oil profits... what's the name of that fund?
What other path is there; sustainability from our past oil profits for wind, solar, geothermal
hydro, and tidal energy projects is the beginning of a 1000 years of sustainability.
BP can only offer us 50 years of what... higher profits for oil company shareholders!
What shares do we own? What's the name of that fund... that we as Alaskans own!
SOMEBODY... YELL IT OUT... LOUD AND CLEAR... I CAN"T HEAR YOU... AGAIN HOW MUCH HAS IT GROWN...
Is it nearing 40 billion dollars? Do we as rural Alaskans need to hire VECO to get the votes we need to follow the path of RENEWABLE ENERGY IN ALASKA from the Alaska Legislature?
Where is our path to sustainability in Alaska!
Is milk production in Alaska sustainable... with or without renewable energy?
Dear Gov. Palin:
Our wellbeing... our opportunities to sustain ourselves... to work... depends upon our ability to invest in renewable energy in Alaska... our schools, our public infrastructure are sustainable with renewables as the initial investment in WHAT, IN WHO... OURSELVES.
Texas is the #1 wind producing state in the US. What year did TEXAS deplete it's oil and gas as a sustainable source of energy, of revenue...!
Iceland has made a 50 year commitment to hydrogen production as the sole source for transportation fuel... for buses, private vehicles, and their fishing fleet. SAY IT AGAIN, FISHING FLEET...
The Gov. of Iowa has set up a 100 million dollar fund for making IOWA a renewable energy state. Am I worried about ALASKA... YOU BET I AM...
GM is planning on shipping the first hydrogen/electric vehicles to CHINA called the VOLT by 2010. The car will have a 300 mile range. HOW MANY MILES ON THE NOME ROAD SYSTEM!
Gov. Palin... the commissioners that will lead Alaska on the path of renewable energy...who are they... where are they... are they... OUR CHILDREN.
All Alaskans will benefit from renewable energy infrastructure, make the commitment to us today... DEAR GOVERNOR...future generations will know we wasted no more time on pipe dreams...
PS. Commissioner Notti needs a good press secretary to review his comments! DON"T LET HIM MAKE ANYMORE STUPID COMMENTS about renewable energy!
Needless to say, I'm passionate about renewable energy... you have my permission to air it, talk of Alaska it, as much as you like, AP-it to the rest of Alaska...
We have to wake up the State...winter is coming.