Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Alaskans will not immediately know the extent of industry interest in either of Alaska’s natural gas pipelines until this year’s gubernatorial elections are over. Both the state-licensed TransCanada proposal and the BP/ConocoPhillips’ Denali projects are currently being considered by possible gas shippers during the Open Season process. But the results of that bidding process will be confidential.
Federal Gas Transportation Coordinator Larry Persily says no state or federal law gives any government agency – or the public – access to the proprietary, commercial documents that comprise an Open Season bid.
The subject has become a political issue in this year’s gubernatorial season.
Republican Candidate Ralph Samuels says on his website that Governor Sean Parnell will withhold the results of any responses to the two formal proposals – hiding them until after the election. On Tuesday morning’s Talk of Alaska, Samuels says Alaskans are paying part of TransCanada’s expenses and should have the information.
And Bill Walker, also running against Parnell in the primary election, agrees. He believes the administration will have information from the Open Season and says the Governor should make it all available:
Open Season for the TransCanada proposal is set to close for bids on July 30, Denali’s on October 4. Persily says the public – himself included – will not likely receive any new information for several months as work continues behind the scenes.
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