Alaskans consider energy rebates

Jan. 23, 2008 at 3:05 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Legislators in Juneau considered an "energy rebate" for Alaskans Wednesday that could put between $500 and $1,000 in every resident's pocket.

The payments, which would trim the state's multi-billion-dollar budget surplus, is touted as state assistance that would offset rising gasoline prices, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

"I like the idea in concept," said Kevin Meyer, co-chair of the House Finance Committee.

Lawmakers said there were no strings attached.

The idea is to offset rising energy costs. But, If residents use the money to get drunk, "that's your fault," said state Rep. Bill Thomas.

Although Alaska exports oil, price of gasoline is roughly the same in the 50th state as in the lower 48 -- around $3 a gallon -- although it was $1.87 in March 2005. Heating oil in the state jumped from $3.11 a gallon in March 2005 to $4.48 in March 2007.

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