Legislators are enthusiastically considering the idea of the state financing and even owning a $7.5 billion pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to Interior and Southcentral Alaska markets.
State officials on Tuesday presented the Legislature with a long-awaited report saying the gas project is likely to be commercially feasible. It said the state will need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to flesh out details before any final decision.
Legislative leaders said they still need to dig into the 144-page report but liked what they were hearing. The project, for the so-called "bullet line" down the Parks Highway, is touted as an alternative to get gas to Alaska consumers while the decades-long wait for a much wider pipeline to the Lower 48 continues.
House Speaker Mike Chenault described himself as "pretty stoked up about it." Senate President Gary Stevens lauded the report as a "major step forward."
But the release of the report is just the start of a long and intense debate. There are all sorts of questions about costs to the state and ratepayers, and what it might mean for other energy projects like the proposed Susitna dam and TransCanada pipeline to the Lower 48.
Read the full story at ADN.com