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Fishing, energy linked in rebuilding Southeast, senator Stedman says

Michael Penn/Juneau EmpireSen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka,
attends the Native Issues Forum hosted
by the Central Council of the Tlingit and
Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska on Thursday.
Stedman promises help for hydroelectric, weatherization

Posted: March 30, 2012 - 12:11am

By Pat Forgey
Improving Southeast’s energy supplies could go a long way to saving its struggling small communities, but rebuilding local fishing fleets could help as well, said Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, whose Senate district includes Ketchikan, Petersburg and neighboring areas.

Building hydroelectric power plants may be expensive, but it has always worked out in the past, he said.

“We build hydros, we pay a lot of money for them, we squeal a lot in the first 10 years, and after that we pat ourselves about how smart we were and how we’re saving a fortune,” Stedman said.

The influential co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee spoke Thursday before the Native Issues Forum, sponsored by the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Many in the forum audience had ties to Hoonah, Angoon, Kake and other communities, shelling....