Letter: State can’t afford a piece of a gas pipeline

January 14, 2014 

I disagree with the state consideration of owning any share of the gas pipeline. If a natural gas pipeline will be profitable, the natural gas producers will build it, operate it, and be liable if anything goes wrong with it, just like the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

The governor says we had a $2 billion shortfall in oil revenue due to declining oil prices. The state cannot afford to enter into an open-ended contract with the gas producers to build, maintain, and share liability on a project taking more than five years to complete. Sharing the liability alone should be the deal breaker; permitting and construction costs never come in on budget. Also included will be the lawsuits brought by various groups who do not want the pipeline to go somewhere or just do not want it all. Do we need the useless drain on state revenue?

Look back on the permitting, legal, construction and liability problems with the oil pipeline, at no cost to the state.

— Wayne Watson

Anchorage

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