HOT TAKES IN A COLD PLACE

#REALTALK WITH THE AKC

Featured image for “Building an Inclusive Future: Celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in Alaska”

Building an Inclusive Future: Celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in Alaska

June 14, 2024

Hey Friends! June marks two monumental movements of liberation: Juneteenth and LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Without Black and queer voices represented in our movement, there will be no true equity and justice. We recognize that achieving thriving communities and a robust democracy requires acknowledging our shared histories and the injustices faced by marginalized communities. Progress towards equity and justice necessitates prioritizing these communities in our conversations and efforts towards equity, while also celebrating their invaluable contributions to our society. This is why celebrations such as Juneteenth and Pride Month are so important. This year, the Alaska Legislature passed Senate Bill 22, establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday, pending the governor’s signature to become official. This legislative progress demonstrates our state’s recognition of the history and significant contributions of Black Alaskans. On Juneteenth, Alaskans and others across our country will commemorate and celebrate the historic day in 1865 when enslaved people in…
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Legislative Highlights: Celebrating Wins and Community Action in Alaska

May 17, 2024

Is it just us, or does spring feel extra busy this year? In a week with multiple elections closing, we hope you are celebrating Suzanne LaFrance’s significant lead in the Mayoral runoff and plan on joining us Friday for the Chugach Electric Annual Meeting! – we also watched closely as the 2024 Alaska state legislative session came to a close.  During the final few days of the session, we saw many of our clean energy and climate priorities across the finish line. We’ll have more to come on what this means for our next steps, but for now, we’re excited to share this brief recap.  PASSED! Community Solar (SAVE Act)The Alaska Center has worked closely with Alaska Public Interest Research Group outwardly and behind the scenes over the past year to move a community solar bill forward. The goal of the legislation is to allow more people to access clean…
Featured image for “Murky Waters Ahead, Troubled Waters Behind: What’s Happening with the Eklutna River?”

Murky Waters Ahead, Troubled Waters Behind: What’s Happening with the Eklutna River?

May 3, 2024

I can’t say how many times I’ve seen a headline recently asking what is going on with the Eklutna River (Well, actually I can. Twice. Check out Emily Goodykoontz’ and Alex DeMarban’s article or Nat Herz’ podcast. I highly recommend checking out these pieces for a lay of the land understanding of what’s occurred.)  But, my question, and one many people are asking now is: what just happened? And what’s next? On April 15, the Matanuska Electric Association Board of Directors approved a resolution to send the Final Fish and Wildlife Program to the Governor. On April 24, the Chugach Electric Association Board of Directors did the same. The Final Fish and Wildlife Program does not right a historical wrong, and does not give salmon a chance to return to the lake. Instead, it relies on the previously proposed AWWU portal (now called the Eklutna River Release Facility) to restore…
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Shifting to Transmission

April 5, 2024

Two weeks ago, several members of our team went to Juneau, in Á’akw Kwáan territory, for the Just Transition Summit. Over the course of four days, we heard from Indigenous leaders, youth, elders, labor movement experts, legislators, and other partners of ours about efforts to transition our economy away from extraction and toward resilience and regeneration.  We discussed a wide swath of issues related to a just transition, including building a true multi-racial democracy, circular economies and waste, and Indigenous Knowledge. We also made time for conversations around healing, and found opportunities to connect with one another between sessions. You can watch some of the keynote panels, and see a complete list of speakers on the Just Transition website. One highlight we are especially proud of: a legislative lunch and learn about transitioning our energy system, featuring three wonderful panelists. Our Alaska Fellow, Marta Ditzler, worked tirelessly on coordinating this…
Featured image for “2024 Chugach Electric Association Endorsements”

2024 Chugach Electric Association Endorsements

March 8, 2024

At The Alaska Center, we work to elect Alaskans who stand up for our clean air and water, healthy communities, and a strong democracy at every level of public leadership: from the federal government down to local board elections. One of these local elections this spring is so small that many people don’t know they have the right to vote – but this Board holds a key role in transitioning us to a sustainable and independent energy future.  Chugach Electric Association is the largest power provider in Alaska, servicing over 144,000 customers in the Anchorage area. Most of that power currently comes from natural gas – which is rapidly becoming less available in Alaska. As the Board holds elections for two open seats this spring, we must elect leaders who can set realistic goals to achieve energy independence in Alaska quickly.  Director Sam Cason and Director Mark Wiggin will do…
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Spring Into Action: Protecting Democracy in Alaska’s Elections

February 23, 2024

Dear Friend, It’s spring (or at least false spring) here in Alaska, and that means local and state-wide elections are right around the corner. Whether you’re refreshing your browser, waiting for national primary results, or attending cozy coffee shop chats put on by your favorite mayor or state leg candidate, voting is on the mind of many of us – including our state legislators.   We’re one month through the session, and our Representatives have been busy bees when it comes to voting legislation – HB 4 (the repeal of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)) had a hearing on day one of the session, and HB 129 (purging voter rolls), has already moved out of the House and into The Senate State Affairs Committee. Purging might sound like something you’d do to your closet during spring cleaning, but it’s anything but tidy when it comes to voting rights. “Purging” or “cleaning up”…
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Breaking Down the Alphabet Soup: Big Win for Renewable Energy!

February 9, 2024

Navigating the clean energy world can feel like staring at a bowl of alphabet soup. “Did you hear GVEA & CEA voted for an RPS that would fall under RCA and RRC jurisdiction?” For those of us who didn’t totally follow that, we’ll break down what happened during the first few weeks of the legislative session, and what that means for clean energy in Alaska – without using any acronyms.  During the week of January 22, the two largest electric utility providers in Alaska passed resolutions in support of a Renewable Portfolio Standard. A Renewable Portfolio Standard would establish a timeline for utility providers along the railbelt to transition to more renewable energy sources. We believe that this transition is not only critical for addressing our rapidly changing climate, but also for securing stable and reliable opportunities for Alaskans as the clean energy sector jobs continue to expand and oil…
Featured image for “Hot Takes in a Cold Place: Something Smells Fishy in Southcentral Alaska”

Hot Takes in a Cold Place: Something Smells Fishy in Southcentral Alaska

January 26, 2024

Have you ever attended a public comment meeting that didn’t want the public to comment?  I have.  Six, actually.  All in one week! The owners of the Eklutna Hydroelectric Project held information–erm, “public comment”–meetings last week in Palmer, Anchorage, and Eagle River.  They were certainly “informational,” to say the least. Charts, numbers, and graphics, oh my. Cherry-picked information to intentionally mislead information could be found throughout, such as: Perhaps the most important thing that the project owners (represented by an out-of-state consulting group…) failed to mention is the century of cultural harm that this dam has inflicted upon the Native Village of Eklutna.  They were, however, eager to mention the negotiation meeting they held with the Native Village of Eklutna in December. The negotiations meeting… from which NVE’s position was not taken into account in the project proposal.  And I forgot to mention; the Native of Eklutna, on whose land…
Featured image for “Hot Takes in a Cold Place: 2024 Session is here, baby!”

Hot Takes in a Cold Place: 2024 Session is here, baby!

January 15, 2024

Discover the 2024 Alaska Legislative Session: Key insights into energy policies, democratic reforms, and their impact on Alaska’s future.…
Featured image for “It’s Time to Shift the Power in 2024!”

It’s Time to Shift the Power in 2024!

December 15, 2023

Can you feel the energy? It’s time for a significant change – a shift in power!Support Our Work – Donate!The concept of shifting power, whether in societal dynamics or energy generation, symbolizes a transformative journey with far-reaching effects. Socially, it means championing inclusivity, equitable decision-making, and elevating diverse voices for a fairer and more balanced society. In terms of electricity, power is the lifeblood of our modern existence. Technological progress has enabled us to harness and distribute energy like never before, but the methods of its generation often compromise our community’s well being and our planet’s future. Together, let’s SHIFT THE POWER. Let’s redirect it towards individuals historically excluded from impactful decisions, and pivot away from energy sources that endanger our planet. Your support is crucial in this mission to Shift the Power! This year at The Alaska Center, we set high goals: advocating for community solar legislation, safeguarding our…
Featured image for “Building an Inclusive Future: Celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in Alaska”

Building an Inclusive Future: Celebrating Juneteenth and Pride in Alaska

Hey Friends! June marks two monumental movements of liberation: Juneteenth and LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Without Black and queer voices represented…

June 14, 2024

Featured image for “Legislative Highlights: Celebrating Wins and Community Action in Alaska”

Legislative Highlights: Celebrating Wins and Community Action in Alaska

Is it just us, or does spring feel extra busy this year? In a week with multiple elections closing, we…

May 17, 2024

Featured image for “Murky Waters Ahead, Troubled Waters Behind: What’s Happening with the Eklutna River?”

Murky Waters Ahead, Troubled Waters Behind: What’s Happening with the Eklutna River?

I can’t say how many times I’ve seen a headline recently asking what is going on with the Eklutna River…

May 3, 2024

Featured image for “Shifting to Transmission”

Shifting to Transmission

Two weeks ago, several members of our team went to Juneau, in Á’akw Kwáan territory, for the Just Transition Summit.…

April 5, 2024

Featured image for “2024 Chugach Electric Association Endorsements”

2024 Chugach Electric Association Endorsements

At The Alaska Center, we work to elect Alaskans who stand up for our clean air and water, healthy communities,…

March 8, 2024

Featured image for “Spring Into Action: Protecting Democracy in Alaska’s Elections”

Spring Into Action: Protecting Democracy in Alaska’s Elections

Dear Friend, It’s spring (or at least false spring) here in Alaska, and that means local and state-wide elections are…

February 23, 2024

Featured image for “Breaking Down the Alphabet Soup: Big Win for Renewable Energy!”

Breaking Down the Alphabet Soup: Big Win for Renewable Energy!

Navigating the clean energy world can feel like staring at a bowl of alphabet soup. “Did you hear GVEA &…

February 9, 2024

Featured image for “Hot Takes in a Cold Place: Something Smells Fishy in Southcentral Alaska”

Hot Takes in a Cold Place: Something Smells Fishy in Southcentral Alaska

Have you ever attended a public comment meeting that didn’t want the public to comment?  I have.  Six, actually.  All…

January 26, 2024

Featured image for “Hot Takes in a Cold Place: 2024 Session is here, baby!”

Hot Takes in a Cold Place: 2024 Session is here, baby!

Discover the 2024 Alaska Legislative Session: Key insights into energy policies, democratic reforms, and their impact on Alaska’s future.…

January 15, 2024

Featured image for “It’s Time to Shift the Power in 2024!”

It’s Time to Shift the Power in 2024!

Can you feel the energy? It’s time for a significant change – a shift in power!Support Our Work – Donate!The…

December 15, 2023