The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Sponsor Statement: House Bill 312
Advisory Vote On In-State Gas Pipeline
“An Act authorizing an advisory vote on use of Alaska permanent fund earnings for an in-state natural gas pipeline; and providing for an effective date.”
Posted: January 25, 2010
Status: (H) FIN : 2010-02-05
House Bill 312 places an advisory vote on either the primary or general election ballot the question of using permanent fund earnings, after dividends are paid and the fund is inflation proofed, to help offset the costs of an in-state natural gas pipeline.
I view this option as a potential piece of the puzzle in putting together a financing plan for possible state participation in an in-state gasline. With all the discussion of energy needs throughout the state, it is time the Legislature and the Administration begin to focus on one or two viable projects. It is my hope that we can focus state funding on one or two of these projects rather than taking a shotgun approach and partially fund a large number of concepts that may or may not bear fruition in the future. Providing natural gas to Alaskans first may be a huge first step in creating jobs, providing a long term source of energy, and creating economic opportunities.
This bill was drafted to ensure that dividends are paid and the Permanent Fund is inflation proofed prior to the use of earnings. That part of the question needs to be particularly emphasized. I do not want Alaskans to believe or think this advisory vote is a raid on the earnings of the Permanent Fund. A positive vote would allow the state to use earnings from the Permanent Fund which was initialy developed from resource development within the state. I believe that future generations of Alaskans will benefit from making an energy investment now while still keeping their benefits from the Permanent Fund.