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Sen. Begich planning natural gas legislation

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Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 11:31 pm | Updated: 12:10 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Sen. Mark Begich plans to introduce legislation to apply “one-stop permitting benefits” to any in-state natural-gas transportation system, his office announced Monday.

The legislation would amend the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2004, which created a federal office to work with the numerous parties who would have a role in building a pipeline from the North Slope through Canada — federal agencies, the Canadian government, state officials and tribal governments. Begich’s bill would expand the office’s influence to any natural gas transportation system, including an in-state pipeline or a gas trucking plan.

The legislation provides the same regulatory deadlines, expedited judicial review and tax advantages for those projects as it would provide for a pipeline that travels down the Dalton Highway to Canada, Begich said in a statement.

Begich said the legislation is designed to ease high energy costs by making potential projects more attractive to industry.

“Federal permitting and tax benefits for an in-state natural gas project will make any option more financially feasible for private-sector developers and hopefully bring relief to Alaskans facing high energy prices,” he said.

Begich plans to seek input from stakeholders before formally introducing the bill.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

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