Commentary: Palin set good course for gas pipeline

What does Gov. Palin's departure mean for Alaska's efforts to get a North Slope gas pipeline? The state won't change its approach, incoming governor Sean Parnell told the Daily News editorial board Monday.

"I'm aligned with the governor on this," Parnell said. "I support the AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act) process."

That's good news for Alaska. Gov. Palin has the state on the right track for finally getting a gas line. In our judgment, it will stand as her greatest contribution in office to the future development of Alaska.

Under her predecessor, Alaska had no gas line project moving forward, even though then-Gov. Frank Murkowski offered huge state financial and legal concessions. Now, we have two different credible gas line projects competing against each other.

Both projects say they will solicit customers for their projects next year. That process, known "open season," requires the projects to have a fairly firm, reliable cost estimate.

After open season, several critical hurdles remain: getting federal permission to build the line, getting unbreakable shipping commitments from gas producers, and raising the $25+ billion needed to build the project.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.