Judiciary Chair Questions Governor's Office/DNR on Noah Departure
Fairbanks Repworried about State’s in-state gas pipeline aims and policy calls
Tuesday, December 01, 2009, Fairbanks, Alaska – House Judiciary Chair Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, today sent an eight-page letter to the Governor’s Office calling into question the State’s efforts at securing a safe, dependable and deliverable in-state natural gas supply in the wake of In-State Gas Pipeline Project Coordinator Harry Noah’s resignation.
Ramras is concerned about the future viability of the In-State gas pipeline, and the events leading up to, and surrounding, Mr. Noah’s resignation. Ramras spoke with Mr. Noah following his resignation announcement and writes in his letter to the Governor that “the picture I was provided with was unsettling and is in direct contradiction to your expressed wishes and the wishes of most Alaskans.” Ramras details his informal exit interview and subsequent conversations with Mr. Noah in the letter, and voices his concern on major in-state gas policy and the confusing involvement between Mr. Noah and state officials, including the following five points, out-lined in the letter, “to illustrate how DNR’s (The Dept. of Natural Resources) approach to In-State Gas is obstructionist:”
3) Mr. Noah, approached the producers about their existing GTP (Gas treatment plant) to bring down conditioning costs for Alaskans, and he was subsequently discouraged by state officials who indicated that he would be required to “build his own” GTP.
4) After Mr. Noah engaged in preliminary dialogue with Exxon about using Pt. Thomson gas that might not require as much conditioning, he was discouraged by state officials who would place litigation strategy above the best interests of Alaskans.
5) DNR and the federal pipeline coordinator, both in the press and in meetings with policy-makers, advocated for the cessation of the LNG export license that has been in place for 40 years, thereby eliminating a potential and necessary industrial-anchor customer for the Bullet Line.“Harry Noah’s resignation has created more questions than answers,” Ramras said. “My letter voices concerns about the In-State gas line, which seems to be at risk. This is unacceptable. Alaskans are concerned about brown-outs and a stable supply in Southcentral, affordability and any supply in the Interior and Mr. Noah painted a bleak picture that the DNR and senior government officials need to either disprove or be held accountable for.”