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FERC Clarifies Jurisdiction over Permitting for In-State Pipeline


March 19, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) this week responded to questions raised by the State of Alaska on jurisdiction for an in-state pipeline.

In-State Gas Line Project Manager Bob Swenson sent a letter to the FERC outlining three scenarios where an in-state pipeline might be built and operated. As the State of Alaska considers options for the delivery of in-state gas, project planners needed to understand which federal agencies would have jurisdiction over the permitting and rate-making of pipelines.

The FERC’s response and staff analysis concluded that under most circumstances contemplated by the In-State Gas Team, the FERC would not have jurisdiction over an in-state pipeline. 

“Our understanding of federal regulatory jurisdiction was critical to project timing and this news bodes well for staying on our current timelines and permitting activity,” Swenson said.

While there are some scenarios where Alaska natural gas would eventually be transported to domestic markets in other U.S. states, the FERC would not be able to rule on the matter unless asked formally as part of a proceeding.

“The State of Alaska is very appreciative of the timely response from Chairman Joe Wellinghoff,” Swenson said. “This information has helped us move the project along by clarifying the permitting process.”

Gas pipeline funding, both for the in-state gasline and the AGIA pipeline work, remains a priority. The Parnell administration will continue to work with both the House and Senate to restore full funding.

Copies of the letters regarding FERC jurisdiction are available at: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/documents/gov_FERCrequestandresponse.pdf

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