Alaska Senate approves bill to boost Interior natural gas project

The Alaska Senate has approved a bill to extend the deadline for the Alaska Industrial Development and Energy Authority to issue bonds backing the Interior Energy Project.

That project would bring natural gas to Fairbanks and other Interior towns in an effort to lower heating and energy costs.

Senate Bill 125, sponsored by Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, advanced Wednesday on a 19-0 vote. It now goes to the House for consideration.

In the House on Wednesday, lawmakers voted 30-8 in favor of a resolution that asks the federal government to continue plans for offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and Cook Inlet. The resolution goes on to reject the idea of drilling in federal waters offshore of other parts of Alaska. “No” votes came from eight members of the House’s Republican minority.

The resolution was presented to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, following her address to the Alaska Legislature.

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