A bill proposed in the Alaska state legislature aims to expedite the construction of an in-state gas pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska; including Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. Its prime sponsor is House Speaker Mike Chenault, a Republican from Nikiski. Governor Sean Parnell said he’d like the legislature to make up its mind on what the governor should do. He says that last year, his office was given seven million dollars for work on the instate gas line. He says his team is meeting the legislature’s own schedule and is within budget — under last year’s instructions. Parnell says his team was charged last year with getting cost estimates on all the options possible for an instate line — and to get as many permits as possible for a developer to use. That would speed up construction and lower the cost of a line. He says Chenault’s bill would spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a project without the advance work necessary. He says Chenault’s project does not even consider that there is no gas available at this point.
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai and Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
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