Support of SCR 16 - Related to a coal plant and energy grid study


March 3, 2014

Senator Cathy Giessel, Chair
Senate Resources Committee 
Alaska State Senate
Juneau, AK 99801

Re: Support for SCR 16

Dear Chairwoman Giessel and members of the Senate Resources Committee:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing in support of SCR 16: Requesting the Governor to investigate and report to the legislature regarding the development of a large coal power plant and associated electric grid to provide energy to residents of the state.

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska's oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism, and fisheries industries. Our membership includes all of the Alaska Native regional corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC's purpose is to expand the state's economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

It is a policy of RDC to support utilization of Alaska’s coal resources for power generation, as well as to support efforts to diversify Alaska’s energy sources. RDC believes it is imperative Alaskans and Alaskan businesses have access to reliable and affordable energy.

Alaska contains about half of our nation’s coal resources, much of which is of higher value due to naturally lower sulfur contents. The low sulfur content makes Alaska’s coal some of the cleanest burning in the world.

Coal can provide some of the lowest cost energy of alternatives available. As Alaska is disproportionately impacted by high costs of energy, coal should be among the diverse and cost-effective energy options.

Additionally, Alaska’s one large operating mine, Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. has demonstrated a commitment to maintaining and improving the environment. RDC believes these resources and values can help offer affordable energy to Alaskans.

RDC applauds the legislature for introducing this resolution, and urges the members of this committee to pass SCR 16.

Resource Development Council for Alaska