Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2004-01-14 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2004-01-14                     Senate Journal                      Page 1927
SB 264                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 264 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                   
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                               
          "An Act repealing the time limitation on the authority                                    
          of the Department of Natural Resources to enter into                                      
          agreements with a person or persons desiring to own                                       
          an oil or natural gas pipeline proposed to be located                                     
          on state land for the purposes of providing for                                           
          payment of the reasonable costs incurred in preparing                                     
          for activities before receipt of an application under                                     
          the Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act; and providing                                        
          for an effective date."                                                                   
was read the first time and referred to the Resources Committee.                                    
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, zero, Department of Natural Resources                                           

2004-01-14                     Senate Journal                      Page 1928
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 12:                                                     
Dear President Therriault:                                                                          
Under the authority of article III, section 18, of the Alaska                                       
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill allowing the Department of                                   
Natural Resources (DNR) to continue to enter into reimbursement                                     
agreements with applicants for DNR's preliminary work on oil and gas                                
pipeline right-of-way lease applications. DNR's preliminary work                                    
streamlines the application process. An effective permitting process is                             
critical to revitalizing the oil and gas industry and growing Alaska's                              
economy. DNR's current authority to enter into reimbursement                                        
agreements expired on December 31, 2003. The bill contains a                                        
retroactive provision to ensure there is no "window" period when                                    
reimbursement agreements could not be entered into by DNR.                                          
AS 38.35 requires pipeline right-of-way lease applicants to submit                                  
detailed applications that include significant engineering and design                               
work. Substantial investments of time and money are needed even                                     
before an application is officially submitted to DNR. Costs of pre-                                 
application work by state agencies like DNR can range from about                                    
$40,000 for a simple pipeline to several millions of dollars for a                                  
project like the proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline. Incomplete                                   
applications or applications that must be revised later are costly, create                          
delays that could cost a producer the construction season, and may                                  
directly impact a decision on the feasibility of a project.                                         
DNR's assistance and guidance results in a good working relationship                                
with the applicant. It also results in early communication and                                      
explanation of state law requirements to applicants, complete initial                               
applications, quicker processing by DNR, fewer revisions, and a                                     
greater chance of approval of the project by DNR.                                                   
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this matter.                                             
Sincerely yours,                                                                                    
Frank H. Murkowski