A year ago there was a lot of complaining about state money being wasted on the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project, the little brother to the big North Slope gas pipeline project. Also called the “bullet” line, ASAP was advanced by legislators as a backup plan in case a larger gas project falters.
The fight over Kenai Loop natural gas appears to be over. Attorneys for all four parties currently involved in the dispute — Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Alaska Mental Health Land Trust Authority, the Department of Natural Resources, and AIX Energy LLC — signed a joint request for dismissal Jan. 23 of the ongoing hearing in the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission related to the case.
If tickets could be sold to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s hearings in March on the Interior Department’s annual appropriation, it would be a sell-out crowd as Secretary Sally Jewell is sure to come in for a roasting. The Secretary has blocked a medical evacuation road for King Cove, in southwest Alaska, placed large areas of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off limits to oil and gas exploration, and has recommended wilderness status for the bulk of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including its coastal plain that has potential for large new oil and gas discoveries.