- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee has advanced legislation that would levy a surcharge on refined fuels distributed in Alaska as a way to help fund an account used for the cleanup of contaminated sites, non-emergency spill response and other activities.

The bill would levy a surcharge of just under 1-cent-per-gallon on refined fuel sold, transferred or used in Alaska. A similar bill, with a 1-cent-per-gallon surcharge, previously advanced from House Finance.

Current funding includes a 4-cent surcharge on each taxable barrel of oil produced in Alaska and fines, settlements or penalties recovered from those financially responsible for spills. But the Department of Environmental Conservation says declining oil production is affecting the account, which faces an $800,000 shortfall for the current year and a potentially multimillion-dollar hole next year.

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