Managing Alaska’s Petroleum Nest Egg for Maximum Sustainable Yield

A new analysis by Scott Goldsmith, professor of economics at ISER, estimates that Alaska’s state government currently has a petroleum nest egg of about $155 billion, including both the value of revenues from oil and gas yet to be produced and money already in the bank. The state can afford to spend about $6.2 billion a year from the earnings of that nest egg for decades to come, taking population growth into account. But this fiscal year, the state is expected to spend close to $7 billion—shrinking the nest egg for coming generations.

See the full analysis (1.1MB).…

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Examining the Power Cost Equalization Program Funding Formula

A new analysis by ISER researchers Ginny Fay, Alejandra Villalobos Meléndez, and Tobias Schwörer examines how the current Power Cost Equalization (PCE) program formula affects incentives for rural communities to increase their energy efficiency and add renewable energy sources. The state PCE program helps bring the high cost of electricity in small rural places closer to costs in urban areas, by paying eligible utilities part of the costs of the first 500 kilowatt hours of electricity for each residential customer every month. PCE rates are currently linked to fuel costs and use.

The analysis looks at the history of the PCE program and levels and patterns of electricity consumption across regions of Alaska, and assesses how the program affects the price of electricity—which in turn affects incentives for efficiency, innovation and conservation.

See the full report here (3.8MB).…

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Lunchtime Talk: Canada, the United States, and the Arctic: A History of Cooperation and Prospects for the Future

Whitney Lackenbauer of the University of Waterloo in Ontario is one of Canada’s leading scholars on contemporary Arctic sovereignty and security issues. He will talk about Canadian and American perceptions about the Arctic since the 19th century, focusing on why many Canadians have deep-seated concerns about American intentions in the North American Arctic. This is a joint presentation of the Canadian Consulate, University Advancement at UAA, and ISER. Pizza and soft drinks will be served.

When: Tuesday, March 27, 12 to 1
Where: Conference Room, Third Floor, Diplomacy Building. Notice that this talk is not in the ISER conference room but in the larger conference room on the third floor of the same building.

Download the PDF announcement (221KB) (updated March 19, 2012)…

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New Book Examines Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend

Scott Goldsmith, professor of economics at ISER, is one of the authors of a new book, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, describing the history of  the dividend and examining whether this unique Alaska program could be a successful model in other places. Dr. Goldsmith’s chapter describes the economic and social impacts of the dividend on Alaska. The book publisher is Palgrave MacMillan, and information about buying the book is available at:

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