2010 SAF Outcomes  

SAF Helps to Shape New Energy Policy

Alaska Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) Strategies for Alaska’s Future (SAF) program ensures conservation organizations have the capacity needed to address legislative priorities and build coalitions around the major issues facing Alaska. It is the only program funding statewide advocacy.

Last year, ACF funded 4 grassroot organizers at conservation groups in Fairbanks, Palmer, Anchorage, and Juneau.  These organizers were charged with increasing the capacity of the conservation community in order to move forward legislative priorities on energy, which included:

  • establishing an emerging energy technology development grant fund;
  • promoting energy efficiency measures; and
  • creating a regional transit authority to provide public transportation between the Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage (Alaska’s population centers).

The statewide SAF team maintained a regional focus educating citizens and elected officials on the issues of coal and energy. When the Railbelt Electrical Efficiency Landscape Roadmap report was released, the SAF team recruited 40 citizens to travel to Juneau to participate in ACA’s Legislative Fly-In, where they were given an opportunity to meet with their elected officials to discuss energy issues.

Then on April 18th, the Alaska legislature unanimously passed visionary legislation to increase renewable energy production and energy efficiency in Alaska. This legislation was influenced by the collaborative grassroots organizing force funded by ACF’s SAF program. “Through coalition building, targeted constituent and legislator interaction, the SAF program provided the right testimony when it was needed,” explained Russell Stigall, Legislative Director for ACA.

Highlights of the Alaska’s new energy bill include:

  • 50% increase of renewable energy; production by 2025;
  • 15% energy efficiency gains per capita by 2020;
  • retrofitting 25% of state buildings for energy efficiency by 2020;
  • reducing energy usage in public buildings via a $250 million revolving loan fund; and
  • creating a $2.4 million dollar Emerging Energy Technology Fund to focus Alaska on clean energy technologies and high tech jobs.

The bill and corresponding budget appropriations are now awaiting approval from Alaska’s Governor Sean Parnell.