WASHINGTON, DC, June 29 -- Senior executives from 15 federal agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding to expedite permitting processes and establish a management framework to reduce bureaucratic delays in construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska, the US Department of Energy said on June 29.
"We need to do all we can to increase our domestic supply of energy—including natural gas—and the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline will help us do that," said Sec. of Energy Samuel W. Bodman.
The Federal Interagency Memorandum of Understanding for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Project defines responsibilities and provides for streamlined regulatory and environmental processes, reviews, and approvals for the project, he said.
Officials from the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, and Treasury as well as the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Federal Inspector for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects also signed the memorandum.
The pipeline is expected to supply about 10% of future US gas demand, according to DOE. When it is fully operational, it will carry 4 bcfd, it said.
It said that Alaska Gov. Frank H. Murkowski has called a special session of the legislature beginning July 12 to consider and pass a new oil and gas tax structure, amend the Stranded Gas Act, and approve the gas pipeline contract. Once it does, the state will join with industry to form a corporate entity to build the pipeline, DOE said.
Contact Nick Snow at [email protected].