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Alaska governor examines gas line project before weighing in

December 18, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is learning more about the $43 billion liquefied natural gas project before he sets a course, his administration said.

Brett Huber, the new Republican governor’s senior policy adviser, told the Anchorage Daily News that Dunleavy “will withhold judgment” on the project until the “administration can fully understand the costs, risks, and potential benefits.”

The project includes an 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) pipeline to move North Slope gas to Nikiski, where a plant would liquefy it for shipment. Most sales will be targeted for buyers in the Asia market.

Dunleavy’s new administration last week rolled out a budget that keeps former Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed $22 million on gas line spending.

The budget proposal is a starting point for discussions with the state Legislature and not intended to show support for the project, said Laura Cramer, deputy director of the state Office of Management and Budget.

Dunleavy is the third governor to oversee the project, which launched in 2012 under former Gov. Sean Parnell, who is serving as Dunleavy’s gas line adviser during the transition of administrations.

Parnell said the project should keep proceeding until it obtains approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. That approval isn’t expected until February 2020.

“What’s important now is getting something of value to the state for all the time and money (invested),” Parnell said.

Parnell said he has put in about 100 hours reviewing documents and materials on the project. He met with Dunleavy last week, briefing him on his findings, he said.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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