Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representatives of the Alaska’s North Slope gas producers, leading natural gas transmission companies, and state officials from the Governor’s office and the Legislature will gather in Washington, D.C. Feb. 4 to discuss the future of an Alaska gas line and potential federal and state legislation needed to advance an Alaska gas project. Alaska Sen. Frank H. Murkowski in December, in advance of the Senate taking up comprehensive national energy legislation (possibly as soon as Feb. 11), asked the group to come together to discuss what the federal government can do to facilitate the project or make it more economic. That meeting, to be moderated by Senator Murkowski, will start at 2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4 in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing room, SD 366. “The purpose of the meeting is to discuss federal legislation and potential state and commercial efforts to enhance the economics and accelerate the delivery of Alaska gas to lower 48 markets and maximize the benefits to Alaskans,” said Murkowski. “Clearly it is in Alaska’s and the nation’s best interest for Alaska’s gas to go by means of a southern route down the TAPs corridor and the Alaska Highway to lower 48 markets. I want to discuss what Congress and the state can do to help make that happen,” Murkowski said. Murkowski, an opponent of a northern route under the Beaufort Sea, said that with an energy bill likely to come before the Senate, it is imperative all parties have a clear understanding of what, if anything, the federal and state governments can do to make the project more viable. He said he is seeking comments on the need for permitting changes, tax or financial incentives, and on what, if any, regulatory or financial steps the State of Alaska can take to improve the chances for the multi-billion-dollar project. “A gasline is so important for Alaska’s future. Its construction could mean 3,500 Alaska jobs and the gas sales could provide the state with $22 billion in revenues over the life of the project -- money that is absolutely vital for the state’s fiscal health. This is an effort to discuss what can and should be done to get Alaska’s gas to market now, not next decade, and maximize benefits to the state,” said Murkowski. Invitations to attend were sent to Alaska Governor Tony Knowles, to the Alaska Legislature, to the gas owners: Exxon, BP and Phillips and to all of the transmission companies led by Foothills Pipeline, TransCanada Pipelines, Duke Energy, El Paso, Pacific Gas & Electric, Williams, Sempra and Westcoast Energy who agreed last fall to reform a 1970s consortium to participate in the transport of Alaska. -30-