by Katie Marquette, Office of the Governor

FAIRBANKS – Governor Bill Walker signed HB 105 into law Tuesday, which will allow the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to pursue options other than trucking liquefied natural gas from the North Slope to provide low-cost energy to Interior residents. Governor Walker signed the bill during a luncheon hosted by the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

“Too many Interior residents are burdened by the high cost of heat and electricity,” said Governor Walker. “My administration is well aware of the need to bring energy relief to the Interior, and the rest of the state. HB 105 will play a critical role in addressing that.”

Sponsored by Governor Walker, HB 105, also known as the Interior Energy Project, allows AIDEA and Interior communities to select the best option for low-cost energy through geographic and fuel-source flexibility and utilizing open competition for private partners. These changes provide AIDEA with the direction and oversight needed to proceed with an energy project for the Interior.

“At the end of the day, conditions in Fairbanks have not changed, and relief in the form of clean, low cost energy is needed now,” said Governor Walker. “The goal of the Interior Energy Project is to bring the lowest cost natural gas to Fairbanks as quickly as possible.”

While at the Chamber event, Governor Walker also addressed the state’s current fiscal challenges, emphasizing that his administration continues to make spending reductions. With a $4 billion budget deficit, the Governor encouraged Alaskans to join in this important conversation about Alaska’s fiscal future.

“It’s a tough conversation to have, but if we want to find a solution to our financial challenges, lawmakers need to hear from as many Alaskans as possible,” Governor Walker said. “I encourage Alaskans to join in building a sustainable future for our state.”