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Governor Parnell Respects Legislative Branch Powers

Letter of Assurance Sent to Energy Secretary

August 10, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell said that he respects the Alaska State Legislature's authority to override vetoed state energy stimulus funds. Today, Governor Parnell sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, providing required assurances to accept the $28.6 million in funds for Alaska.

The Alaska State Legislature voted 45-14 to override Governor Sarah Palin's veto of the funds.

"I respect the Legislature's right to override the veto," Governor Parnell said. "Given today's action, we have applied for the funds in the least restrictive manner possible. I strongly believe that local communities should retain the option to set their own building energy codes.

"These funds can be spent for a broad range of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy purposes. I am committed to making effective use of these dollars to reduce energy costs for public facilities and to support ongoing energy-efficiency programs."

The state has already made a substantial investment in energy-efficiency programs. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has administered some $360 million for weatherization and energy rebate programs. An additional $125 million has been allocated to renewable-energy projects.

A copy of the governor's letter to Secretary Chu can be found at: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/GovParnell-SectChuLetter_Aug10-2009.pdf.

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