Study questions need for gas development authority

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010

JUNEAU - A recent audit says a group created to promote getting North Slope natural gas to Alaska communities is at risk of outliving its purpose.

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee report suggests lawmakers evaluate the continued need for the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority and end it, if it serves no public-interest purpose.

The group formed after a 2002 ballot initiative. Its focus has been on getting North Slope gas to communities and finding opportunities for Alaska to market liquefied natural gas.

Since its inception, two pipeline companies have begun pursuing major natural gas line projects, and the state has begun studying what a smaller instate line would entail.

The report noted the group doesn't play a lead role in acquiring gas or building a line.

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