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Parnell talks to Fairbanks leaders about natural gas woes

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

Two days of meetings between Gov. Sean Parnell and Fairbanks politicians, utilities and community leaders focused on ways to get natural gas off Alaska’s North Slope to Interior Alaska homes and businesses. 

“I’m really pressing the companies to tell me … what’s your plan to build it out as soon as possible and at as low a price as possible,” Parnell said, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “I’m trying to find the optimum commercial structure and timeline that provides the lowest cost to most Fairbanks-area consumers.”

Parnell talked with borough mayor Luke Hopkins and representatives of Golden Valley Electric Association, Flint Hills Resources and Fairbanks Natural Gas.

“I think that he’s looking at the whole picture, which is the most important to us,” Hopkins told the News-Miner. “The distribution part has to be happening as quickly as possible.”

Any effort to tap North Slope gas must benefit an array of Alaska consumers, Parnell emphasized, both on the road system and along the state’s rivers. “I really think that Fairbanks, and taking care of the needs in Fairbanks, can drive a larger-picture Alaska solution for lower-cost energy,” the governor said.