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Senate passes bill to build gas pipeline in Alaska's Denali National Park

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The U.S. Senate this week approved legislation to allow a seven-mile-long natural gas pipeline to be built along a section of the existing highway through Alaska’s scenic Denali National Park, according to the Oil & Gas Journal.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sponsored bill. Following Tuesday’s vote she said, “This bill clears a key hurdle…and allows decisions on the best route to be based on economic and commercial grounds, rather than out of fear of lengthy permitting delays to win access rights across federal lands.”

Murkowski’s bill will allow a high-pressure pipeline to run through the existing utility corridor at the park’s entrance, but won't allow compression stations to be built inside park boundaries. Additionally, and at the request of the National Park Service, the bill will allow transmission and distribution pipelines to be built inside the park to provide natural gas to park facilities.

Murkowski introduced the bill in 2011 with support from “a coalition of environmental groups.” Read more