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Consensus needed: Governor encourages Fairbanks to pick a project

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 12:19 am | Updated: 4:16 pm, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial

In calling for meetings with local companies on natural gas projects, Gov. Sean Parnell is inserting himself into a situation where he can use the power of his office to make a real difference.

The widespread hope in Fairbanks is that the state will commit a significant sum to help expand natural gas infrastructure and natural gas processing facilities. That’s not going to happen until we get closer to a consensus on how to help consumers.

In a letter to the Golden Valley Electric Association, Fairbanks Natural Gas, Flint Hills and the Fairbanks Economic Development Corp., Parnell said Fairbanks needs a “unified front to resolve Fairbanks and Interior energy needs.”

He has asked for meetings in October individually with the groups or collectively to settle on a natural gas solution for Fairbanks.

As the most powerful elected official in the state, the governor is in a unique position to help chart a course forward. In addition, by including a sizable sum in his capital budget for a natural gas project in Fairbanks, he can improve the odds that it will win legislative approval.

We encourage the companies, our local governments and the governor to find that unified front that has been missing.

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