Every Friday media across the state get a press release from Alaska's congressional delegation touting how much federal grant and loan-money comes to the state. This Fat Friday, save for that mammoth low-interest loan to Kenai Peninsula’s Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative, is a little lean this week:
1) U.S. Department of Agriculture- Rural Development: $150,000,000 guaranteed loan to the Kenai Peninsula’s Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative, Inc. to convert resources to combined cycle, install a new aero derivative gas-fired turbine, and build new substations
2) U.S. Department of Transportation: $964,139 grant to the Juneau Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to enact and enforce laws as well as implement programs to combat impaired driving.
In other Fat Friday news, Sen. Lisa Murkowski released a draft version of the Senate Interior bill to the public. You can view it here. The following Alaska items are included in the bill:
1) Restoration of a $12.5 million cut (43%) to the Alaska Conveyance program, back to its current level of $29.1 million. This program is critical to finally giving the State, Native Corporations, and private citizens final title to lands selected under the Statehood Act.
2) Full funding of $62.1 million for the completion of the Indian Health Services hospital in Barrow.
3) $10 million for the EPA's Alaska Native Villages program which provides grants for critical wastewater and drinking water infrastructure for Native Alaskans.
4) The bill also retains language to help foster the offering of economic timber sales on the Tongass National Forest to help maintain the economy in Southeast Alaska.