Alaska News Nightly: May 22, 2008

Governor Palin announces TransCanada gasline proposal stands alone; legislators and the industry react. Plus conservation group, Cook Inletkeeper pushes for a decision on listing Cook Inlet Beluga whales under the federal Endangered Species Act. Also, firefighters are making good progress against the wildfire on the Kenai, and the 50th annual Kodiak Crab festival is underway. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Governor Palin sticks with TransCanada gasline proposal
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin announced today that after months of scrutinizing the details of the TransCanada proposal to build a natural gas pipeline, the state gas line team has determined the proposal is sound and meets all requirements of AGIA. The Governor has rejected the ConocoPhillips Denali plan and TransCanada’s proposal will be the only one submitted to the legislature for consideration during the upcoming special session in June.

Legislators react to governor’s gasline decision

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The governor gave the legislature a lot to look at during the upcoming special session next month.

Oil Industry weighs in on Gasline decision
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The Governor said her team’s analysis shows the best interests of the state are better met by TransCanada Alaska’s bid than by the other schemes.  The producers who chose to submit their own bid are not so sure about that.   But the independents, who are seeing ways to transport the gas the majors produce, are pleased.

Government report questions value of ANWR crude

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
A federal government report out today raises questions about whether ANWR oil drilling would do much to lower crude oil prices in the future.  The report from the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration says ANWR production would not have that big of an effect on crude oil prices. Under the mean production case, the price per barrel would only be reduced by 75 cents in 2025.

Enviromental group pushes for Beluga decision
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The conservation organization Cook Inletkeeper has joined with the Marine Mammal Commission in sending letters to the federal government requesting them to step up the timeline for a decision on whether or not to list the Cook Inlet Beluga under the Endangered Species Act. NMFS decided in April to delay the listing decision until the annual count in June.

Firefighters making good progress against Kenai wildfire

Mike Mason, KBBI – Anchorage
The 300-acre homestead fire that has been burning since Monday night near happy valley on the Kenai peninsula is now 60-percent contained

Homer food bank struggles to keep stocked
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
The Homer community food pantry is low on food, in particular meat, fish and other perishable items. The shortage may be linked to the increasing cost of food and other commodities

50th annual Crab Festival kicks off in Kodiak
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
Sunshine greeted the crowds at the 50th annual Kodiak Crab Festival, which opened today  at noon.