SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Moving Forward with FERC
By Governor Sarah Palin


June 23, 2008

We learned this week that British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips have filed some very preliminary paperwork to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC as it's called. FERC is the United States' federal agency which, among other things, reviews and authorizes liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines. FERC is ultimately the governing body which will issue one or more certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for the Alaska gas pipeline. This is the same certificate that AGIA requires our project partner to pursue.

By pre-filing with FERC, BP and ConocoPhillips can begin the process of applying for that FERC certificate. This is commonly referred to as the "pre-filing process." Normally, you wouldn't file this early. But I'll assume that right now with FERC in town talking about AGIA and TransCanada Alaska's potential license, they also want to be part of the discussion. And that's one of the benefits of healthy competition - competition I have welcomed from day one. It's progress. And, after all, isn't that what AGIA is all about?

So what does BP and ConocoPhillips' pre-filing mean to TC Alaska and our progress toward licensure? I believe it means we need to continue to move forward with awarding TC Alaska a license. Again, this is all about competition and competition is driving progress. Unlike any other time in our history, we are moving forward with a gasline. In this competitive environment, we've now seen multiple pipeline project plans advanced, some more detailed than others. We need to keep competition alive so that our gas, Alaska's gas, continues to move toward market.

And it is a very delicate time. This is not the time to let down our guard with the excited anticipation of a pre-filing by one of the players. There are no commitments that come with pre-filing. That process can be abandoned as quickly as it was initiated. We can remain cautiously optimistic while we also move our project forward through AGIA - a binding license with numerous commitments that protect Alaskans and keep Alaskans first.

Additionally, keep in mind what we have observed over the past year or so: when the legislature gets close to a decision-making point with AGIA or TC Alaska, suddenly there is an announcement of some kind from the producer group. Days before the AGIA RFA deadline last November, Conoco announced "the Plan." Then right before the Commissioners' finding was released, we were told about "Denali." Now, weeks if not days before another important legislative decision is made, we're informed that the producers are making more progress.

I'm comfortable pushing forward with the process we've designed because it is producing results. If anything, the FERC pre-filing announcement made by BP and Conoco this week confirms that we must continue with TC Alaska and AGIA in order to ensure that we will keep this long-awaited project moving.

Governor Sarah Palin

Received June 20, 2008 - Published June 23, 2008


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska