Republican News

WASHINGTON -- The House-Senate Energy Conference Committee today approved several proposals sponsored by Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski to facilitate construction of the trans Alaska gas pipeline. One of the key provisions adopted prohibits a northern gas piepline route, guaranteeing the line will follow the Alaska Highway south through the Railbelt and Yukon to reach the Lower 48 States. "I am extremely pleased to be able to report that the conference committee has approved several significant provisions, which should greatly speed construction of the gas pipeline," Murkowski said. “Getting this project moving will bring significant benefits to Alaskan workers and to the State of Alaska's bottom line." Murkowski-authored language approved by the conference committee includes: • A streamlined permitting and expedited court review process to speed construction and limit unnecessary delays. • Provisions that allow Alaska to control in-state use of gas to facilitate use for heating or construction of petrochemical plants in state. • A guarantee that the gas pipeline will accommodate other potential gas projects in Alaska, including a potential LNG plant to be developed at tidewater in Alaska. • Provisions to guarantee that current and future gas producers in Alaska will be able to compete to get their gas through the pipeline to market. • And a provision that authorizes $20 million for worker job training and promotes Alaska-hire provisions in-state. “The energy bill now addresses nearly all of the federal actions needed to encourage expedited construction of a trans-Alaska gas pipeline," Murkowski said. "It is a significant step in the approval process and brings the gas pipeline appreciably closer to reality." ###