Republican News

WASHINGTON -- Alaska Sen. Frank H. Murkowski today released the following statement today after newly proposed language regarding the development of the Alaskan natural gas pipeline was distributed amongst producers, the pipeline companies, and the State of Alaska: "The gas pipeline will only be built if we have all sides contributing to the solution. By sharing this language, everyone involved can make certain their ideas are discussed and integrated in the final proposal. "This language provides two options to make this project a reality. It provides separate authority under an amendment to ANGTA (1976 Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act) or allows the producers to file their own new application. The language further updates and modifies the ANGTA, the legislation that governs the movement of Alaskan natural gas through an international pipeline. In addition, if there is a challenge in the courts, the language calls for expedited review of any claim filed against this legislation. "Provisions within this legislation expressly prohibit the over-the-top route, ensuring the maximum amount of American jobs from moving Alaskan gas. It further reiterates the state¹s authority to regulate in-state distribution and use. And following additional discoveries of gas, the line can be extended and expanded as needed. Finally, the language includes a federal coordinator position to ensure all agencies are working in concert with each other, not against each other. "The draft document covers all of the changes that Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and I have negotiated thus far. While there are still some additional items to be covered, including loan guarantees and other financial concerns, I believe it is important to get what information we can agree on in people¹s hands. "By working with the goal of moving Alaska¹s natural resources, I'm confident that we're making new headway in bringing this project from the drawing board to the plains of Alaska. I intend to make certain that this language is included in the comprehensive energy bill currently awaiting final debate on the Senate floor. -30-