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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.

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