House Acts to Have AIDEA Analyze Gasoline Storage - Ramras' HCR 19
Ramras’ HCR 19 looks to bolster state’s limited fuel
storage capacity to cut down on consumer costs
Monday, April 5, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House today passed House Concurrent Resolution 19, which tasks the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, or AIDEA, with analyzing the feasibility of a state-built and privately operated fuel storage facility. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, sponsored the resolution, which passed by a vote of 32 to 5.
“HCR 19 is a simple resolution asking AIDEA to evaluate whether building additional fuel storage capacity is economically feasible and desirable from a market perspective,” Ramras said. “Gas prices have been a topic of concern for the past two years. My committee and the Attorney General’s Office both conducted investigations and found that price gouging and collusion were not occurring. The public has expressed a desire for some relief, but we don’t want government to subsidize the fuel industry or pass legislation restricting the free market.”
HCR 19 urges AIDEA to examine jet fuel security, opportunities and existing threats to the state’s fuel supply chain, potential storage opportunities for fuel delivery in Western Alaska, and Railbelt supply needs. The resolution also asks the Authority to analyze financing options, including in-house or with supplier interest.
“Many factors are in play in a business as complex as fuel purchase and supply. If we increase supply, it might drive prices down; it’s economies of scale,” Ramras said. “HCR 19 lets the public know there are free-market solutions to bringing prices down without resorting to price-gouging legislation. It will tell us what the market will bear and how, in any way, we can help.”HCR 19 now heads to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.