ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 176
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
August 7, 1998
I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the
1. On July 30, 1998, I declared a disaster exists in certain
communities and regions of Western Alaska, more fully described
in the disaster declaration, due to the catastrophically low
salmon returns jeopardizing the health and safety of individuals
in the disaster area. Disaster relief to be provided will include
vouchers or payments from the state or federal government on
behalf of qualified individuals for certain essential needs including
electric power costs.
2. Power cost equalization (PCE) customer eligibility standards
are set out in 19 AAC 97.260. Under 19 AAC 97.260, customers
of eligible electric utilities are required to make payments
to the utilities for the electric power purchased. As noted,
planned disaster relief includes payments to an eligible utility
on behalf of qualified individuals. Therefore, individuals receiving
assistance with electric power costs would not themselves be
making payments to the utilities. Under 19 AAC 97.260 the individuals
would not meet the standards for PCE eligibility for the time
period for which disaster assistance is provided.
3. I find that compliance with 19 AAC 97.260 would substantially
impede action necessary to cope with the disaster declared on
July 30, 1998. Disaster relief is intended to assist qualified
individuals with essential needs, including electricity. Disqualifying
an individual from PCE during the period for which the individual
receives disaster relief in the form of assistance with electric
costs would increase the individual's electric costs and decrease
the effectiveness of the disaster relief. In addition, delivery
of disaster relief under the declaration made on July 30, 1998,
would be unduly complicated if it had to be tracked for effect
on PCE eligibility. Also, there would be increased administration
costs to the state agencies and the utilities involved.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1 of the Alaska Constitution
and AS 26.23.020(g)(l), I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State
of Alaska, make the following order:
19 AAC 97.260 is suspended to the extent compliance would
preclude qualified individuals in the disaster area from meeting
customer eligibility standards for PCE solely because they are
receiving disaster relief for electric power costs. This suspension
is effective for utility billing periods for which disaster relief
payments are provided under the disaster declared on July 30,
1998 to qualified individuals for electric power costs.
This Order takes effect immediately.
Dated at Juneau, Alaska, this 7 day of August, 1998.