Alaska gas pipeline developers don't have to disclose bids

A federal gas pipeline official recommended Tuesday that Alaskans understand it could be months before they get information about prospects for a major gas pipeline project while the two competing developers go about testing the market in their open seasons.

Dipping his toes in a couple political issues at a news conference in Anchorage, federal gas-line coordinator Larry Persily said that nothing in state or federal law requires TransCanada or the Denali Project to disclose open-season bids for space to ship gas in the lines. Whether either line has a "successful" open season -- receiving enough bids to fill the line and justify the enormous expense of construction -- won't be publicly known until early 2011, Persily said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker, a foe of the state-backed TransCanada project, has demanded that Gov. Sean Parnell provide the bids before the August primary election. Walker wants to see a line built to Valdez, where the gas could be exported to Asia. TransCanada's line could go there, but is more likely to end up in Alberta.

Parnell has rejected Walker's demand for documents -- the records don't exist, he said.

Persily said that's the way the system is set up.

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