Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: We in Anchorage, Mat Su and the Peninsula have lost our whining rights

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

We in Anchorage, Mat Su and the Peninsula have lost our whining rights

Ishmael at Kodiak Konfidential has a scary post up that should concern ALL Alaskans. Check out THEIR gas prices (emphasis mine):
There are persistent rumors that the price of gas will be going up tomorrow.

And as bad as the next hike will be here in the banana belt, I understand that it will jump $3 per gallon in Bethel as soon as the first fuel barge of the season arrives. Residents there have been paying nearly $5/gal. all winter, but will be looking at nearly $8/gal. in a month.

Meanwhile, Governess Sarah Palin will make some sort of announcement in the next week about what she and her energy czar Steve Haagenson have up their sleeves to address the energy crisis here in the short term.
I believe that folks should get on the phone to the Governor and their Legislators about this. NO ONE in Bethel, Alaska makes so much money that $8.00/gal gas won't put them in a serious bind.

I was glad that I read the KK's blog post before I read an interesting Compass piece posted in the "Opinions" section of the ADN:

All Alaskans deserve relief from sting of energy prices

(I'll spare you the unnecessary drama of the first paragraph)
Alaskans are paying the highest energy costs in the U.S. while supplying 16 percent of the nation's oil. No Alaskan should pay more for energy than an average resident of Seattle, Portland, Ore., or San Francisco. Interior energy costs are higher because it's colder and transportation costs are higher.

I don't know about electricity, but we're not paying much more in gas prices.

I use a website that updates their gas prices daily. Currently, San Francisco is paying about $0.015 higher gas prices than Alaska (and it looks like everything in Alaska is averaged, including Bethel.) SF is paying about $0.20 more than Anchorage. Portland is only paying about $0.12 less than Anchorage and Seattle is paying about $0.01 less. Whoopee...

But like I said, I don't have the figures regarding the electricity comparisons.

Here is the section from the Compass article that bothered me:
We should equalize our energy costs to the West Coast average. Think of the impact on families, businesses and jobs in Alaska. Our petrodollars, such a cash cow to the state, could provide a substantial and regionally fair return that maximizes the benefits for all Alaskans. Instead of fighting over regional scraps, if we lower the overhead of each business, we become fully competitive with Outside companies and create Alaska jobs.

Let's petition the Legislature and governor to treat all regions of the state equally in energy matters. Ask your friends and neighbors -- in fact, all who pay an energy bill -- to sign.

First off, they haven't given us any "West Coast average" numbers.

Secondly, they talk about "lowering the overhead of each business" then they talk about "treating all regions of the state equally in energy matters." What do they mean by that? After hearing about Bethel's plight, my idea of "treating us all equally" is to lower their fuel prices down to Anchorage rates. I'd like to do that all across Rural Alaska. As much as I may feel I'm suffering paying $4.30/gal for my diesel, I can't imagine paying $8.00/gal for gas or heating oil.

Of course, then I noticed that one of the writers is Jim Crawford, real estate developer and commercial mortgage banker. I wonder how much that "energy savings" would get passed down to renters?

This Anchorage resident doesn't have a problem with Rural Alaska getting the energy relief. They need it, they deserve it and it shouldn't be hijacked.


Blogger Grimbles said...

See, when people whine over here about petrol prices, I can say 'qq more, at least you're not in rural Alaska'. Then again, you and your $4/g diesel... =p Adelaide just hit $1.50 a litre... so, just under $6/gallon. Though, possibly a different type of fuel, so different mileage.

At least we don't have to worry about massive heating costs though o.o

5/08/2008 10:21 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Yeah, I know you guys (deservedly) laugh at us when we whine about gas prices!

5/08/2008 10:40 PM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

And the rest of the world laugh at the both of us. Its the price we pay for living in young countries where urban sprawl is rampant, vs the old world where towns and cities *have* to be compact and efficient.

5/09/2008 3:28 AM  
Blogger clark said...

i guess most of the electricity in anchorage is generated by diesel burning, so those rates ought to rise right along with fuel. maybe just a delayed reaction.

5/09/2008 7:28 PM  
Blogger kodiakgriff said...

We produce a fair amount of the oil in this country. yet our prices at the pump exceed the national average.
However; my family can adjust our use of trans portion fuel to a certain extent.
Home heating oil and electricity is the issue. How cold can my house be, before it is unreasonable? What of the extended costs that will eat away our meager educational budgets?
The legislature is all about raising taxes on the producers of crude. Why aren't they looking at alternatives? Maybe a price cap on fuel used for heating and power production would be more significant to the Alaskan population than fattened dividends.
Just a thought.

5/09/2008 8:34 PM  

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