21 Mar 2008

More Pacific lawmakers look at alternative energy sources

4:16 pm on 21 March 2008

Soaring global fuel prices are prompting more Pacific islands lawmakers to look at alternative sources of energy.

American Samoa's Senate President is sponsoring a measure that would establish the Alternate Research Commission to study and evaluate ways to reduce fossil-fuel reliance.

The bill comes as the oil price has passed 100 US dollars per barrel, and local residents are struggling with increasing electricity rates and gasoline prices.

In Guam yesterday, lawmakers showed unanimous support for a bill that encourages alternative sources to fire up power plants.

Senator Adolpho Palacios says the bill is a positive step away from dependency on the Guam Power Authority.

"We cannot continue to be dependent on petroleum. Where we are here in Guam we have solar energy, wind energy, thermal energy, but we just have not developed (them)... Why? Because the most convenient is the petroleum and the Utility company here in Guam, they don't really care much about how much the petroleum costs because they know they're going to have to pass it on down to the customers, the consumers."

Guam Senator Adolpho Palacios