Official to lawmakers: Relax on pipeline

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011

JUNEAU — A federal official has advice for Alaska lawmakers antsy about securing a gas pipeline: Relax.

Larry Persily, the federal coordinator for Alaska natural gas transportation projects, says there’s no reason to panic yet. One company vying to secure agreements for a line missed a self-imposed target for doing so. But Persily says that’s not a reason to lose faith. He says if there aren’t so-called precedent agreement by year’s end, then he’d worry.

He’s cautioning lawmakers against abandoning a big line for a smaller one, which would likely need heavy state subsidies to make it economic and wouldn’t export gas, like a big line would.

He says lawmakers might be better served looking at whether the money they’d put into a smaller line would help a major line get built.

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