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AK State House Majority Caucus press release: House Acts to Create In-State Gasline Fund (HB203)

Speaker’s HB 203 puts fund in AK Gasline Development Corp. for development

Tuesday, April 5, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House of Representatives today passed legislation creating a fund the state could invest in to help pay for the planning, development and construction of an in-state natural gas pipeline.

House Bill 203, sponsored by House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, creates the In-State Gas Pipeline Fund within the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC,) a subsidiary of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. The fund would be repealed 90 days after construction on the line has been completed.

“HB 203 streamlines the funding process for the many aspects of the in-state gas pipeline process,” Speaker Chenault said, referring to prior year appropriations to different state agencies on in-state gas development. “The fund will eliminate the need for multiple appropriations; allow better and easier accounting on expenditures; and give AGDC more control over planning and development of the project.”

The corporation is still in the information-gathering and modeling stages for the project, dubbed the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline, or ASAP. The Legislature created the corporation through passage of the Speaker’s HB 369 in 2010 to facilitate the construction of an in-state gasline. The corporation will present a report on their progress and development/construction options by July 15.

“Two of our Caucus’s Guiding Principles are Responsible Resource Development and Access to Affordable Energy, and continuing to help facilitate and build the ASAP project fits with those goals,” House Finance Vice-Chair Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River, said. “Cook Inlet production concerns are a threat to the entire Railbelt region, and providing gas for Alaskans to heat their homes and businesses is – and should continue to be – a paramount goal for this Legislature.”

HB 203 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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