Senate Majority Encouraged by Alaska LNG Roadmap Agreements Reached by Parnell Administration
ANCHORAGE-Today, Members of the Senate Majority say they are encouraged to hear Governor Parnell and his Administration have reached an agreement on a roadmap forward to building the Alaska LNG Project, which would be a world-scale infrastructure investment supplying domestic gas to Alaskans and exporting Alaska gas to Asian-Pacific markets such as Japan, Korea, China and India.
Today’s announcement includes components which guarantee the State will be a full partner in a large-diameter gasline project as it goes forward. One component is a Heads of Agreement (HOA) between the State, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), ConocoPhillips, BP, ExxonMobil, and TransCanada which states all parties are in alignment and represents the first step on the path to full legally binding contracts and sets out roles and responsibilities of the parties before finalized contracts are drawn up.
"This is a historic time for Alaska,” said Senator Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/North Kenai. “We have now moved the ball to the next ten yard line. Alaskans can look forward to the potential benefits of our gas here at home and abroad."
“This is a completely different way than we’ve ever done things before,” said Senate President Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla. “This is a transparent process where basic principles are agreed on up front by all parties, and then we develop principles and legislation which will guide us to a binding commercial agreement.”
“This is what getting a big project done looks like,” said Senate Finance Co-Chair Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks. “Whether we take baby steps or giant steps, the important thing is we are always taking the necessary steps to build that gas line. The Governor, the Legislature, and the associated people in the private sector are in a mode where we wake up every day and say: ‘What needs to be done today to build that line?’ This thing is going to happen."
Through being an equity partner in the Alaska LNG project, the State is able to guarantee several key principles important to Alaskans including affordable in-state gas, Alaska hire, an expansion policy, and a commitment to maintaining the Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline (ASAP) project.
Today’s announcement does not stop any progress AGDC is making with ASAP, which is an in-state gasline designed to provide affordable natural gas to Alaskans.
“These projects actually work in harmony,” said Senator Huggins. “If, after the initial engineering and other assessments are made, any of the parties decides not to move forward on the Alaska LNG project, the State hasn’t lost any progress AGDC would have made during this time. It’s a safety net, but at the same time, both projects will work together and share information. The Senate looks forward to working with the Governor during the upcoming Session on the necessary pieces of Legislation to make this huge step forward a reality.”
The State’s press release and links to the HOA and the Memorandum of Understanding are available at http://www.dor.alaska.gov/.
Posted: January 16, 2014