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Senate Energy Working Group to hold Fairbanks hearing Monday

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Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 11:38 pm | Updated: 11:21 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The Senate Energy Working Group, a group of Democratic senators representing the Interior, Anchorage and rural Alaska, will be hold a hearing in Fairbanks on Monday to discuss fuel pricing and energy issues.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday at Noel Wien Library and will focus on fuel pricing and its economic impact on the Interior. They will hear from stakeholders, such as local fuel distributors, and will take public testimony.

The working group includes Sens. Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks; Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel; and Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage. The group was started to investigate the cause for Alaska’s highest-in-the-nation energy prices as well as look for fixes.

An earlier meeting in Anchorage focused on gasoline and the infrastructure issues that have caused gas to cost so much more than the Lower 48 even though a pipeline runs through the state.

In a news release, Thomas said the meeting is an opportunity for people to have more input on legislative action for the upcoming session.

“The Energy Working Group is meeting in Fairbanks because Interior Alaska, including rural villages, is severely impacted by high fuel prices,” Thomas said. “The Fairbanks area also has two oil refineries and residents with particular expertise and experience to share. This is an important opportunity for input from those who are most familiar with the issues.”

The hearing is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and public testimony will be taken from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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