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House Majority E-News 01-25-10

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House Majority E-News for Jan 25, 2010

ANS Crude: $74.96 Henry Hub: $5.76

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Speaker Wants Alaskans' Input on Using
Permanent Fund Earnings for In-State Gas Line Financing

(Juneau) - House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, today introduced
legislation to ask Alaskans whether the state should use Permanent
Fund earnings to help offset financing costs to help build an in-state
natural gas pipeline. The bill, House Bill 312, places an advisory
vote on either the primary or general election ballots this fall to
give Alaskans a say in directing the state's energy policy.

"HB 312 was drafted to ensure that dividends are paid and the
Permanent Fund is inflation-proofed prior to use of the earnings. That
part of it needs to be emphasized first," Speaker Chenault said. "I
don't want Alaskans to believe that this advisory vote is a raid on
the earnings of the Fund. It's my hope that the voters' answers to
this question will help focus state funding on one or two projects
rather than taking a shotgun approach and partially fund a large
number of projects that may or may not come to fruition in the future.
It's time for the state to start making decisions, and this question
will help the Legislature and Administration move toward viable
projects."

The question before voters would read: "After paying annual dividends
to residents and inflation-proofing the Alaska permanent fund, should
permanent fund investment earnings be appropriated to help pay the
costs of constructing an in-state natural gas pipeline?"

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