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Cook Inlet Energy Incentives Act Passes Senate

Senator Wielechowski's SB 208 calls on Administration to recommend new incentives to increase exploration and production of natural gas in Cook Inlet.

Thursday, April 08, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - The Alaska Senate today passed legislation to spur more natural gas production in Cook Inlet. SB 208, sponsored by Senator Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, calls on the Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Revenue (DOR) to evaluate the effectiveness of existing incentives designed to increase exploration for and production of natural gas in Cook Inlet, and to identify and evaluate additional steps the legislature could take to increase production of gas in the Inlet.

"Southcentral Alaska is rapidly running out of natural gas," Senator Wielechowski said today.  "This gas is used to heat more than 130,000 homes and businesses, and to produce more than ninety percent of the region's power.  It's incumbent on the legislature to do all it can to ensure that those living in the Railbelt get the gas they need."

SB 208 tasks the Administration with assessing the effectiveness of existing incentives, proposing new incentives it believes would be useful, and then looking broadly at what other strategies the state might enact to ensure Alaskans have access to a reliable and affordable supply of natural gas.

"Most importantly, the bill calls for the work to be done quickly, so the legislature can be in position next session to take whatever steps we need to avert a crisis situation down the line," said Senator Wielechowski.

SB 208 goes next to the House of Representative for consideration.

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