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Alaska Native villages hit by high energy costs

Alaska Native villages have been hit hard by the high cost of gasoline and heating oil, attendees of the Alaska Federation of Natives conference said on Thursday.

As the state is making billions from $60-a-barrel oil prices, energy costs in Native villages have exploded. Gas is topping $5 a gallon in some places and diesel oil needed for heat and electricity is $6.07 a gallon, speakers said.

"The state itself has become rich, but it's come at the expense of our rural villages," Buddy Brown, the president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, was quoted as saying. "This single issue has really been at the forefront of all our villages."

Native leaders called on the state to help deal with the crisis and set aside $100 million in emergency funding. Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) pledged to provide some assistance.

The AFN convention opened yesterday in Fairbanks. It continues today and concludes tomorrow.

Get the Story:
Villages seek aid for fuel (The Anchorage Daily News 10/21)
Energy costs sting rural residents (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 10/21)

Relevant Links:
Alaska Federation of Natives -

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