Alaskan Legislators Mull Over Report For In-State Gas Pipeline

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Alaskan legislators are considering the possibility of the state financing and even owning a $7.5 billion pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to interior and south central Alaska markets.
  The Anchorge Daily News reported the Legislature is reviewing a report prepared by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) that says the Bullet Line – a plan originally unveiled by former Gov. Sarah Palin to develop an in-state natural gas pipeline that would precede the long-planned Alaska Gas Pipeline to deliver North Slope natural gas to North American markets – is likely to be commercially feasible.
  Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, along with Senate President Gary Stevens and Gov. Sean Parnell, joined AGDC President Dan Fauske in presenting the report to legislators.
  The AGDC report calls for a 24-inch pipeline to run from Prudhoe Bay down the Parks Highway with a spur to Fairbanks. The pipeline would run 737 miles and enter the south central distribution system by connecting with the Beluga gas pipeline near Big Lake.
  The goal is that the first gas from the in-state pipeline could be delivered in 2018. The report said the state should spend $210 million for the next phase of developing the project. An additional $130 million would be needed to complete the design before a final decision is made on the project.
  The total cost is estimated at $7.5 billion but could end up 30% higher or lower than that, according to the report.
  Legislative leaders reportedly said they still need to study the 144-page report but liked what they were hearing. However, the release of the report is just the start of a long and intense debate. There are all sorts of questions about costs to the state and ratepayers, and what it might mean for other energy projects like the proposed Susitna dam and TransCanada pipeline to the Lower 48.