22nd Alaska State Legislature
News from the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines
Senator John Torgerson, Chair
Representative Joe Green, Vice-Chair

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Sen. John Torgerson
State Capitol, Room 427
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2828
Fax: (907) 465-4779

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Rep. Joe Green
State Capitol, Room 403
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4931
Fax: (907) 465-4316

Torgerson Traveling to Boost Gasline Prospects

For Immediate Release: October 12, 2001
Contact: Senator John Torgerson at (907) 260-3041
Representative Joe Green at (907) 269-0123

(KASILOF) - As part of the Legislature's continuing effort to build international support for a pipeline to bring Alaska's North Slope gas to markets, the chairman of the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines plans to travel to Canada next week to meet with government and business leaders on the issue.

"We are engaged in a long-term effort to overcome any obstacles to getting Alaska's gas resources to market," Sen. John Torgerson (R-Kasilof), said today. "As that effort continues, it is important to maintain and expand our working relationship with the Canadians who are our neighbors and potential partners in that effort."

Torgerson will travel first to Calgary, Alberta, to deliver the keynote address to the Mackenzie Delta Oil and Gas Development Strategies Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 17. He plans to discuss the history of natural gas projects in Alaska and current projects being considered; Alaska's opposition to an "over the top" pipeline route through Canada's Mackenzie River Delta; and the possibility of using incentives and state ownership in a pipeline to prevent stranding Alaska's gas.

"I also plan to continue to promote my proposal for an International Working Group of officials from Alaska and Western Canadian provinces and territories, that will help us build consensus on issues surrounding delivery of Arctic natural gas to markets," Torgerson said.

The benefits of the working group will also be on the agenda at a Wednesday meeting with Alberta's Minister of Energy, Murray Smith. Torgerson said he hopes to convey to Minister Smith that the working group will help avoid misunderstanding from cross-border communications, and will serve as a forum for the exchange of information on issues of labor employment, in-state gas processing, and U.S. and Canadian environmental standards that might bear upon the gasline project.

In meetings scheduled for Oct. 19 with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the University of Alberta School of Business' Business Advisory Council, Torgerson plans to informally discuss the economic benefits of gas production and strategies our governments can employ to avoid stranding Arctic natural gas. He will also hold meetings with Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd., which holds permits for a southern route pipeline, and with Agrium, a Canadian company that owns and operates a gas-fired ammonia plant in Nikiski.

"Everyone involved in the gasline issue understands the benefits of pipeline development to our northern economies," Torgerson said. "Alaskans and Canadians are 'can-do' people, and I'm confident we can work together to realize the benefits of this project to both of our countries."

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