Hey America, don’t forget about your renewable energy neighbor to the north. Not Canada. It’s Alaska!

By Reuters Staff
March 18, 2009

Alaska is known as a big oil producing state, but don’t forget about it when it comes to renewable energy. That was the message of the state’s senior senator, Lisa Murkowski, to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. 
    
salazarAt a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this week, Salazar showed several large U.S. maps of potential wind, solar and geothermal energy resources. One problem, the country’s biggest state, Alaska, was nowhere to be found.
    
“There are few things that irritate me more than maps of the United States of America that do not include that great northern state,” Murkowski told Salazar, as the standing-room-only hearing room burst into laughter.
    
“Our renewable energy resources are wonderful and vast and we look forward to the time that you will come up to visit them,” she said. 
    
Murkowski even defended Hawaii, which was also left off Salazar’s maps.
    
“We do encourage the Department of the Interior to make sure that all 50 states are represented on your maps,” she said, raising more giggles from committee members and those sitting in audience, including the press table.
    
Salazar was just as amused.
    
“That’s a point well taken,” he said. “Alaska is so important that it merits a map all to itself.”
    
“You’re right,” Murkowski responded.
    
If Salazar follows through on his promise, the solar energy map for Alaska would be rather dark — at least during the winter, when the sun doesn’t shine in some parts of the state for several months and is out for only a few hours a day elsewhere.

–Tom Doggett

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Photo credit: DOI (Interior Secretary Salazar testifies before Senate committee)

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