(Juneau) - House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, today presented comprehensive legislation advancing the Alaska Gasline Development Corp's (AGDC) development of an instate gas pipeline project.
This legislation allows AGDC to keep developing key assets and meeting critical milestones that will be invaluable whether we ultimately build an instate line or partner in a large export project.
~ Rep. Mike Chenault
The package combines several existing bills with recommendations by AGDC and additional tools to bring Alaskans closer to a natural gas pipeline project, ensuring the state's energy security and providing a catalyst for future economic growth.
Speaker Chenault said AGDC has done tremendous work developing a solid, aggressive project plan for an instate gas pipeline, and expects this legislation to allow AGDC to advance this work to the point of project sanctioning, at which time state policy makers will have an opportunity to determine the state's involvement in construction and operations. At the same time, the legislation also enables AGDC to stand as a strong partner on behalf of Alaskans in the event the major producers align in a project as proposed by Governor Parnell.
We are closer than ever to seeing a project underway that will bring affordable Alaskan gas to Alaska's communities
~ Rep. Mike Hawker
"While the optimal project for Alaskans would be a large diameter export pipeline, I am unwilling to wait indefinitely for the various stakeholders to align," Speaker Chenault said. "This legislation allows AGDC to keep developing key assets and meeting critical milestones that will be invaluable whether we ultimately build an instate line or partner in a large export project. Alaskans need reliable, reasonable energy now, but we also need the long-term economic benefits that commercialization of our North Slope and Cook Inlet resources will bring."
Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, has worked with Speaker Chenault crafting the omnibus legislation. "We are closer than ever to seeing a project underway that will bring affordable Alaskan gas to Alaska's communities," Hawker said. "As we announced last fall, this legislation is an important part of our efforts to empower AGDC to get a project started and to be prepared to work with the major gas producers on an in-state line exporting LNG."
The omnibus legislation ensures a reasonable, efficient regulatory process; facilitates private-sector investment; aligns existing state gasline efforts to maximize resources; and provides AGDC the flexibility to respond to gas supply and demand developments.
The legislation will be introduced as a committee substitute for House Bill 9, which Speaker Chenault introduced in 2011. The bill currently is in the House Resources Committee. A hearing has been requested.
Attached are a summary sheet for the CS for HB 9 and AGDC's recommended statutory changes as presented in the July 2011 Project Plan.